Jeweller - September 2021




All in white



Making the cut



Ocean of colour





Sapphires are some of the world’s oldest gemstones, each one of them dating back billions of years.

Embodying the Australian wilderness, these noble gems were unearthed from the ancient landscapes

of the New England Fields in Northern New South Wales and undulating hills of Central Queensland.

From ocean blue, teal and yellow-green wattle to multi-coloured parti, their colour range is second to none,

unveiling the array of bold sapphire hues. Sapphires are also known for their healing properties as they

are the stones of protection and peace, wisdom and loyalty.

Sapphire Dreams certifies and inscribes every sapphire greater than 0.75ct and provides lot numbers

for all sapphires below that weight to guarantee their Australian origin.

Our Australian sapphire jewellery collection is crafted in 9ct or diamond set 18ct gold.

Sapphire Dreams certifies and inscribes every sapphire greater than 0.75ct to ensure their Australian origin.

Call SGA today to become an Authorised Stockist

02 9290 2199

Australia is enriched with amazing treasures. Sapphire Dreams pays tribute to the beauty of

natural Australian sapphires, ethically sourced from the sapphire fields of inland Eastern Australia.

To achieve this level of uncompromised excellence, all sapphires pass through the hands of our

skilled gem cutters to become one-of-a-kind, timeless masterpieces.








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Our kaleidoscopic collection offers quality iconic

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An odyssey as old as time. A bounty beyond value.

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an historic collection of rare natural Argyle specimens weighing a collective 13.90 carats.




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Swarovski’s most astonishing innovations have always emerged from the company’s legacy of craftsmanship and technology.

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Our lab-created diamonds are crafted by

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process of mined diamonds.


Swarovski Created Diamonds are perfected

with master faceting for maximum light

exposure. Designed in tandem with shapes

dedicated to enhancing brilliance, this

faceting unlocks the inner radiance found

in each of our lab-grown diamonds.


All Swarovski Created Diamonds are handselected

and graded according to the

industry specific 4Cs (Clarity, Cut, Color

and Carat) by our gemologists to ensure

their brilliance, with each stone of 0.70

carat and larger accompanied by a report

from an independent gemological institute.


This unique display allows you to present

the loose lab created diamonds in an

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education to the end consumer as well as

giving them a choice of beautifully crafted

Swarovski Created Diamonds.


Swarovski Created Diamonds are supplied

as loose stones and are offered in six classic

diamond shapes and 16 astonishing fancy

colours. Available from DGA in a variety of

colour and clarity ranges (D-I, VVS-SI) from

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As proof of origin, each Swarovski Created

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To schedule an appointment, please contact us:

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L. J. WeST aU PTY LTD | Level 9, 225 St Georges Terrace | Perth, Wa 6000, australia | T +61 40 997 6981 | |

Est. 1990

Important Update regarding this year’s Jewellery Fair.

Dear retailers, buyers and family,

We hope that you and your staff, as well as your family, are doing OK despite the challenges we are all facing throughout


Given what was unfolding at time of production of this advertisement, it has become obvious that we must again reschedule

the International Jewellery & Watch Fair (IJWF) following the various State Government’s COVID lockdowns. It is clear that the

situation is not improving quickly enough to have confidence that the September dates in Sydney can proceed.

Update your diary!

It was an extremely difficult decision to make, but ultimately the health and safety of everyone involved and limiting the potential

threat of spreading the virus was the most important consideration.

So it distresses me to announce that we believe we have no other choice but to reschedule the IJWF to next year –

Saturday 27 August through to Monday 29 August, 2022 at the ICC Darling Harbour.

That said, we know that many suppliers and retailers have been depending on the Sydney Fair this year to get a chance to meet

face-to-face with existing and new customers, in time for the important Christmas and New Year sales periods. In fact, following

18 months of COVID, never has there been a time where in-person meetings to present new products and ideas in time for

Christmas are vital.

For that reason, and after extensive discussions with industry leaders, there is no doubt that retail buyers are looking for new

designs and products. The feedback from suppliers over the past few years, and especially since COVID, is that retailer-buying

patterns have changed, with a tendency for later and later ordering for Christmas delivery.

A pattern was established last year – while there was a pent-up demand after the lockdowns, retailers wanted to see sales

materialise and start ticking over before they ordered Christmas stock. It should be noted that jewellery sales increased by around

30% post the COVID lockdowns.




Therefore, based on the NSW and QLD borders re-opening by a reasonable time in September and

allowing retailers to begin trading again we have created special events to reconnect.

Understandably, many retailers were caught short last year and found that they had under-estimated demand as consumers

opened their wallets after a long period of COVID restrictions. For that reason, and with consultation with the industry, we have

created a niche trade event: StockUp&TopUp (SUTU’21).

StockUp&TopUp (SUTU’21) is designed exclusively to meet the buying patterns of retailers for the busiest time of the year,

Christmas and New Year. And the timing of StockUp&TopUp is also ideal:

SUTU Brisbane: 9 – 10 October at the Brisbane Convention Centre

SUTU Sydney: 23 – 24 October at the ICC Darling Harbour

Both events are not only well-timed for Christmas orders, they will also be time efficient for retailers.

We are aware that the Sydney IJWF is the #1 date on the jewellery industry calendar, and we know the importance it plays in

showcasing this wonderful industry; educating, inspiring and selling, and the free marketing opportunities we provide to the

various industry associations and guilds to unite people. More importantly, our staff is immensely grateful for the understanding,

kindness and unwavering support everyone has demonstrated during these very difficult and trying times and we promise to

reward this support with the most memorable trade show ever next year.

We are also please to announce the new year Trade Days will again run nationally in 2022!

Melbourne: 5 – 6 February • Sydney: 12 – 13 February • Brisbane: 5 – 6 March • Perth: 12 – 13 March • Adelaide: 20 – 21 March

Stay safe and positive; we did come out of this once before and time will ensure we do again.

Gary Fitz-Roy



This Month

Industry Facets

15 Editor’s Desk



Time Machine: September 2011

16 Upfront



Steve Pallas Bespoke Jewellery

18 News



Smales Jewellers

26 Product Spotlight



Fire opal


Shape and shimmer


the creative potential, history, and

misconceptions about diamond cuts.

46 Jewellers Showcase





Rick Southwick


Lilo Stadler





The white side


A to Z: Diamond cuts


Every hue of green and blue

Better Your Business


The silver lining

4The diversity of the white metals category makes

it uniquely resilient in the face of unpredictable

market forces, writes ARABELLA RODEN.







JEANNIE WALTERS cracks the code of predicting future consumer behaviour.


It's time to assess and improve your store's sales culture, writes JOSH STRUTT.


BRI WILLIAMS reveals the right way to deliver bad news.


SIMON DELL explains how to build a customer loyalty program that pays off.


BETH WALKER presents a simplified guide to understanding digital marketing.


Fire opal

4Also known as

Mexican opal, the

flame-like hues of fire

opal ignite the passion and

creativity of jewellers.

FRONT COVER Sapphire Dreams

pays tribute to the beauty of Australian

sapphires, celebrating the art of

craftsmanship and contemporary

jewellery design. Proudly Australian

owned and operated, SAMS Group

Australia has more than 50 years

of experience in luxury jewellery

and working with Australian

gemstones. All of our products

are of impeccable quality, ethically

sourced and expertly crafted.

September 2021 | 13

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Editor’s Desk

Beyoncé, Tiffany, and the marketing conundrum

Tiffany & Co.’s latest advertising campaign has made headlines –

but will it attract new customers, asks ARABELLA RODEN.

When French luxury conglomerate Moët

Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) acquired

Tiffany & Co. in January, it signalled

that big changes were afoot, whether

customers liked them or not.

Tiffany wasn’t just getting a takeover, but

a makeover.

And with the deep coffers one might

expect from Europe’s most valuable

company, LVMH was willing to commit

the funds to seeing its new vision

become a reality.

Tiffany’s CEO, chief artistic officer,

and chief brand officer were promptly

shown the door, and new management –

selected from LVMH’s existing stable of

luxury brands – was ushered in.

One of them was the son of LVMH

chairman Bernard Arnault, who

was named Tiffany’s new executive

vice-president of product and


Born in 1992, Alexandre Arnault already

had an impressive resume, having

repositioned 123-year-old German

luggage brand Rimowa during his tenure

as CEO as a luxury powerhouse of

modern travel accessories.

His appointment was a clear indication

of LVMH’s new marketing strategy for

Tiffany – ‘freshening’ the brand for a new

generation of consumers.

Barely two months into Arnault’s tenure,

Tiffany & Co. cancelled its New York

Times print-edition ad, which had run on

page 3 since 1896.

The re-branding continued with a

controversial billboard campaign bearing

the slogan, ‘Not your mother’s Tiffany’.

The intention was clear – positioning

Tiffany as a youthful, on-trend, and

unpretentious brand, accessible to Gen Z.

Yet it fell into the trap faced by many

heritage brands attempting to shift

their image: alienating its existing

customer base.

The ire was palpable on social media:

“Tiffany is classic and iconic. Why is there

a need to pit generations against one

another?” one Tiffany customer wrote.

Another was more blunt, “I am a

mom. Am I not good enough? Am I

too embarrassing? Too old? My values

and thoughts too stupid and dumb? Is

everyone better than me because I gave

birth? Or is it just all old women are not

worth it and embarrassing?”

Industry commentators were also

unimpressed, with some calling it lazy,

ageist, uninspired, and fundamentally

misunderstanding the nature of Tiffany

jewellery as an intergenerational product

– a treasured heirloom often passed from

mother to daughter.

With a less-than-stellar reception for its

first marketing foray, Tiffany switched

gears and brought out ‘the big guns’:

international superstar Beyoncé, the

128-carat Tiffany Diamond, and Breakfast

At Tiffany’s.

Against a backdrop of a rarely-seen

painting by iconic 1980s street artist

Jean-Michel Basquiat – featuring Tiffanyblue

paint, no less – the ‘About Love’

campaign sees Beyoncé don the canary

yellow pendant and croon Moon River

alongside husband Jay Z.

"It’s our biggest campaign for the year,"

Arnault said. "It’s the most enduring

campaign. Also, it’s the only year-long

campaign that we have.

"It marks a clear evolution of what we’ve

been doing from a creative standpoint.”

Indeed, if Tiffany was intending to ‘break

the Internet’ with this campaign, it

certainly succeeded; breathless headlines

abounded over every detail, including

Tiffany’s accompanying donation to

historically black universities and

scholarship funds in the US.

However, for every post excited over the

first woman of colour to wear the Tiffany

Diamond, there was another criticising

Beyoncé for donning a diamond mined

in colonial South Africa, where African

The old adage

states that any

publicity is good

publicity, but

have the ‘Not

Your Mother’s

Tiffany’ and

‘About Love’



anyone, let

alone Gen

Z, to buy

more Tiffany


labourers were often ruthlessly exploited

under British control.

For every article marvelling at the

Basquiat, there was an opinion piece

decrying the use of the artist’s work in a

commercial campaign.

In an attempt to appeal to Gen Z’s ‘woke’

– that is, politically correct and socially

aware – sensibilities, Tiffany opened

itself up to severe criticism, muddying

the message of its eye-wateringly

expensive advertising.

The old adage states that any publicity

is good publicity, but have the ‘Not

Your Mother’s Tiffany’ and ‘About Love’

campaigns convinced anyone, let alone

Gen Z, to buy more Tiffany jewellery?

Arnault seems to think so. "'Not

Your Mother’s Tiffany’ has been met

with quite a bit of adversity, which

we anticipated, but we’ve seen great

growth from the product categories in

it," he said in August. However, he did

not provide specific figures, and the

campaign was only launched in July.

Arnault added, "We obviously welcome

the dialogue, whether it’s positive or

negative. We were spoken about by

people who had never spoken about

Tiffany before."

In a crowded marketplace, a business

must work harder than ever to win the

attention and dollars of consumers.

On an investor call in April, Jean-

Jacques Guiony, LVMH’s chief financial

officer, said, "It will take years to do

what we want to do with this brand,

from a distribution, merchandising, and

marketing viewpoint. It is a lot of work –

we are committed to doing it."

It’s clear that the French conglomerate

has the will and the money to turn

big plans into reality. But first, it must

work out exactly what it wants Tiffany

to be.

Arabella Roden


September 2021 | 15


#Instagram hashtags to follow


34,725+ POSTS




17,904+ POSTS


88,025+ POSTS


150,422+ POSTS



Star of


4Perhaps the most famous Australian

sapphire is the Black Star of Queensland, which

held the title of the world's largest star sapphire

until 2015. Found by 12-year-old Roy Spencer in

the gemfields of Anakie in 1938, the 1,165-carat

rough was used as a doorstop before Roy's father

realised it was a sapphire.

Alpha Order


205,494+ POSTS


98,475+ POSTS




270,904+ POSTS


241,247+ POSTS

US jeweller Harry Kazanjian purchased the rough in 1947 and painstakingly

cut it into a 733-carat cabochon, later set in a diamond pendant and worn by

singer Cher in 1971 (top right). It changed hands several times in the 2000s,

with an estimated sale price of $US100 million, and was last seen in 2007.

Campaign Watch

4Lourdes Leon, the daughter of

Madonna, has been tapped as the latest

model for Swarovski jewellery as part

of its ongoing re-branding strategy.

Leon will be the face of Collection II, the

second range of designs from the crystal

brand's creative director Giovanna

Battaglia Engelbert. The pieces feature

kaleidoscopic colours and on-trend

chain details.

Image credit: Swarovski/Mikael Jansson

Stranger Things

Weird, wacky and wonderful

jewellery news from around the world

Dammed if you do

4Former action star Jean-Claude

Van Damme may have unwittingly

assisted in the robbery of a

luxury jewellery store in Paris by

distracting would-be witnesses.

According to a UK report, an armed

man successfully held up staff at

the Chaumet store on the Champs-

Élysées and made off with jewellery

valued at more than €2 million, with

crowds of shoppers on the street

failing to notice the commotion as

they clammered to get a look at The

Expendables star instead.

Dental as anything

4US professional footballer

Odell Beckham Jr has undergone

a glitzy mouth makeover. The

athlete had diamond-encrusted

porcelain veneers placed on his

teeth at a cost of $US1.8 million.

The design used stones weighing

a total of 13 carats, including oval,

kite, and cross-cut shapes. Several

other celebrities, including rapper

Post Malone, have had similar

dental treatments.

Provenance Proof

– which relies

on blockchain

technology – now

has more than 500

users globally.

Digital Brainwave

4The Provenance Proof gemstone tracking

platform, developed by the House of Gübelin

and Australian-led blockchain technology

firm Everledger, has marked 500,000

coloured gemstones processed worldwide,

as well as announcing new features.

Klemens Link, head of Provenance

Proof, said, “Retailers and customers

demand information that goes beyond the

scientific data that can be provided in the

gemmological laboratory. Digital technology

has bridged the gap."

New Product

4SAMS Group Australia introduces

Sapphire Dreams, a new range paying

tribute to the beauty of Australian

sapphires. Sapphire Dreams exhibits a

wide range of contemporary sapphire

jewellery, set in 9 or 18-carat gold.

Ethically sourced loose Australian

sapphires are also available, with laser

inscription and a verified certificate.

Robbing the grave

4Police have arrested a French

woman for a jewellery theft which

took place at an open casket funeral.

The woman is alleged to have

posed as a friend of the deceased,

convincing family members to allow

her to pay her respects alone. French

media report that when the family

returned, the deceased's earrings,

ring and necklace were all missing.

Searching the suspect's home, police

later found a stack of recent death

notices along with funeral home

access codes.


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:

Publisher Angela Han • Editor Arabella Roden • Production Assistant Lauren McKinnon

Digital Co-ordinator Trish Bucheli-Preece • Advertising Toli Podolak • Accounts Paul Blewitt

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

Sydney jewellery fair cancelled; new

events launched for October

The 2021 International Jewellery & Watch Fair has been cancelled, with two new

buying events announced for Sydney and Brisbane in October.

With continuing high COVID-19 case numbers and an extended lockdown

in greater Sydney, organiser Expertise Events has cancelled the upcoming

International Jewellery & Watch Fair, (IJWF) however two new events are

launching in Brisbane and Sydney.

The IJWF, due to take place at the ICC Sydney Exhibition Centre in Sydney’s

Darling Harbour, was previously postponed from 29–30 August to 24–27

September 2021.

Gary Fitz-Roy, managing director Expertise Events, said it was “devastating”

to cancel what would have been the 30th IJWF. “It’s clear that the situation is

not improving quickly enough to have confidence that the September dates

in Sydney can proceed to the scale that it has been previously,” Fitz-Roy said

in an email to exhibitors.

The Diamonds by DGA range includes

9K and 18K gold bridal sets, wedding

bands, earrings, bracelets,

rings and pendants.

New season designs now available.

'Exceptional' 342-carat

diamond found

4 Petra Diamonds has recovered a

342.92-carat Type IIa white rough stone

at the iconic Cullinan Mine in South

Africa. The diamond is described as

“exceptional” in terms of both colour

and clarity, and that is likely to be

sold at Petra's September tender. The

company sold a 299.3-carat Type IIa

stone for $US12.2 million in March and

a 39.34-carat Proudly blue distributed diamond for by $US40.2

million in July.

“It was an extremely difficult decision to make, but ultimately the health

and safety of everyone involved and limiting the potential threat of spreading

the virus was the most important consideration, as is the confidence of our

visitor audience to attend large gatherings.”

Expertise Events confirmed the next IJWF will take place from Saturday

27 to Monday 29 August 2022.

“Our staff are immensely grateful for the understanding, kindness and

unwavering support everyone has demonstrated during these very difficult

and trying times and we promise to reward this support with the most

memorable trade show ever next year.”

Fitz-Roy acknowledged that suppliers and retailers were depending on this

year’s Sydney fair to meet face-to-face in time for the crucial Christmas and

New Year sales periods. Taking this into consideration, Expertise Events has

announced new buying days, similar to the successful Trade Days format

earlier this year.

Named Stock Up & Top Up (SUTU), the events are scheduled to be held at:

• Brisbane: 9–10 October 2021 at the Brisbane Convention Centre

• Sydney: 23–24 October 2021 at the ICC Darling Harbour

Both will have capped exhibitor numbers; IJWF exhibitors will be invited

to attend first, with the ability to ‘roll over’ their deposits to SUTU or to the

2022 IJWF.

“As you will understand, our office is closed but we will do our very best

to call you personally to seek your instructions,” Fitz-Roy said. All buying

groups are invited, with Nationwide Jewellers and Independent Jewellers

Collective already committing their support.

18 02 9417 | September 0177 |


Michael Hill results indicate

transformation on track

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Michael Hill International has recorded

strong financial results for the year with a lift in same-store sales.

Michael Hill International (MHI) has reported an after-tax profit of $45.3

million for the year ended 30 June 2021, a significant increase from its 2020

result of $3.1 million. Earnings before interest and tax were $72.4 million,

compared with $14.1 million the previous year.

The company’s revenue from Australian stores was $312.3 million, a 17 per

cent increase compared to FY20, while revenue from New Zealand stores

exceeded $121 million – 19 per cent increase over the previous year.

Commenting on the result in a media release, Daniel Bracken, CEO MHI,

said, “I am particularly proud of our results, underpinned by strategy

execution and the resilience of our team... Setting aside the global

store network closure in 2020, the company has now delivered eight

consecutive quarters of positive same-store sales growth together with

sustained margin expansion.”

As at 30 June 2021, there were 150 Michael Hill stores in Australia – a loss of

five stores on the previous year and representing more than 52 per cent of its

285 total store count. At the time of publication, 46 NSW, 34 Victorian and 4

ACT stores are temporarily closed due to government-mandated lockdowns,

with a further 49 New Zealand stores also in lockdown.

Bracken explained: “Throughout the year, we successfully navigated the

complexity of the global pandemic, with half our Canadian stores closed for

many months, and sporadic temporary closures across our global network.

“While it was an incredibly challenging year, the strength of our brand and

the determination of our team delivered record results and further validates

the transformation is on track.”

MHI also experienced encouraging results in Canada, where all-store

revenue increased by 6.9 per cent to $CA118.4 million, up from $CA110.8

million the previous year. This included a same-store sales increase of 6.8

per cent.

The company noted: “This segment was heavily impacted by temporary store

closures in Eastern Canada, with 6,525 lost store trading days for the year.

By early July, all 86 stores were open and have remained trading, with our

strategic focus now returning to the productivity opportunity in the market."

The financial announcement noted that MHI had experienced “significant"

lost sales in the first seven weeks of FY22 due to lockdowns in Australia,

though strong early performance in Canada and New Zealand contributed to

an increase of 17 per cent group same-store sales for the period.

Management estimated that the 2,755 lost trading days – a figure calculated

by adding the opening hours of all temporarily closed stores – would lower

revenue expectations by $5 million, with sales down 2 per cent.

New Scandinavian watch brand launched in Australia

Nordgreen watches, distributed locally by West End

Collection, have proved popular, reaching DKK101 million

($AU22.2 million) in sales last year.

West End Collection has begun distributing

Nordgreen watches – designed in Copenhagen,

Denmark – to the local market.

Founded in 2017, Nordgreen is described as

combining minimalist Nordic design with a

commitment to environmental and social

responsibility. Its timepieces are conceptualised

by award-winning designer and engineer Jakob

Wagner, who is renowned for his work at luxury

electronics manufacturer Bang & Olufsen.

In addition to sustainable production and

recyclable packaging, the brand also operates

a ‘Give Back Program' – for each watch

purchased, Nordgreen organises a donation to

one of three charity projects.

John Rose, director West End Collection, said,

“Nordgreen is the next big watch brand to

come out of Scandinavia. It has a very powerful

and experienced team behind it; the advisory

board includes the former CEO of Pandora,

Mikkel Olesen, as well as Juha Christensen, the

chairman of Bang & Olufsen.

“Its chief commercial officer is the man

responsible for the incredible growth of Skagen,

prior to it being purchased by Fossil, Lars

Kornbech,” Rose added.

Rose called Nordgreen’s sales growth “far

greater than any other brand that we have

seen”; according to a brand presentation, its

revenues increased from DKK31 million ($AU6.8

million) in 2019 to DKK101 million ($AU22.2

million) in 2020 – its third calendar year of

operation – despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

At retail, Nordgreen pieces are priced between

$239–429 across five lines for men and women.

The brand is currently stocked by retailers

across Europe and Asia, including Denmark, the

UK, Germany, Japan and China.

Rose emphasised the brand’s “genuine support”

for retailers, noting that each new stockist would

receive a 30-day "Geotargeting campaign" to

boost in-store sales through digital marketing.

New Nordgreen stockists also receive a free

second watch strap with every watch.

Pandora’s sales, share price

on the rise

Amid promising results in the second quarter of 2021, Pandora Jewelry has

updated its financial guidance for the year.

Pandora Jewelry has issued an

encouraging financial guidance,

upgrading its forecast for the

remainder of 2021.

The company had originally

estimated organic growth – that

is, increase in revenue excluding

mergers and acquisitions – would

be “above 12 per cent” for the

year; the revised figure is 16–18

per cent.

Meanwhile, the forecast operating

margin has also increased from

22 per cent to 23–24 per cent.

The updated guidance is based

on the assumption that 5 per

cent of Pandora’s stores will be

temporarily closed or severely

impacted due to the COVID-19

pandemic during the second half

of 2021.

Earlier forecasts indicated the

number could be as high as

10 per cent.

In the second quarter of 2021,

15 per cent of its global network

of approximately 2,690 stores –

of which 1,382 are owned and

operated by Pandora – were

temporarily closed.

A statement issued by the

company on 8 August noted,

“Today, around 6 per cent of

the stores are temporarily

closed or severely impacted

due to COVID-19.

"The updated guidance also

assumes that COVID-19 will have

no major negative impact on

production and supply chain.

“COVID-19 is still expected to

impact organic growth negatively

by around -6 per cent for the full


The statement also shed light on,

and compared, past results to

those achieved during the second

quarter of 2021.

Describing the company’s “strong

momentum” during the period,

the statement noted that organic

growth had increased 13 per cent

compared with 2019 and 84 per

cent compared with 2020.

Overall, the company recorded

revenue of DKK5.2 billion

($AU1.1 billion) for the quarter –

an 84 per cent increase compared

with the same period in 2020 and

13 per cent above the second

quarter of 2019, prior to the

COVID-19 pandemic.

The positive results follow the

launch of Pandora’s new strategic

initiative, Phoenix, at the end of

the first quarter.

Meanwhile, following some

time in the doldrums, Pandora’s

share price on the NASDAQ

Copenhagen had rebounded to

DKK761 at the time of publication

– up from DKK455 at the same

time last year.

The company’s share price was

well above its ‘COVID low’ of

DKK203 on 13 March 2020 and

consistently trading near its 2017

peak of more than DKK900.

Sydney and Melbourne lockdowns bite into July jewellery sales

New sales data compiled by Retail Edge Consultants

indicates jewellery sales in dollar and number terms

declined between June and July, likely due to enforced

store closures across Sydney and Melbourne.

The extended lockdown of greater Sydney and

a two-week snap lockdown in Melbourne in

July have impacted jewellery sales in dollar

and number terms, bringing to an end more

than eight months of upward momentum.

When compared with June 2021, overall

sales declined from $12.7 million to $11.4

million, and were 14 per cent lower than in

July 2020, according to data compiled by

Retail Edge Consultants.

"When compared with June 2021, overall sales

declined from $12.7 million to $11.4 million,

and were 14 per cent lower than in July 2020"

Sales fell across all jewellery categories,

with the most significant decrease in silver

and alternative metal jewellery, which declined

by 24.8 per cent when compared with the

previous month and 19 per cent compared

with July 2020.

However, overall jewellery sales in dollar terms

increased 4.3 per cent when compared with

2019, while average sale price (inventory only)

was 34 per cent higher than in July 2019.

Michael Dyer, sales manager at Retail Edge,

noted in the report, “Although the figures are

a little clouded by the number of stores with

limited trading in July, the picture does show

customers are still buying bigger ticket items

than last July.”

The best performing category in sales dollars

was no-stone precious metal jewellery, which

increased 45 per cent when compared with

July 2019 and remained flat compared with

2020, followed by diamond-set precious metal

jewellery which increased 19 per cent over

two years.

Dyer added, “With the calendar turning

over into August you should be well into the

planning, if not the placing of orders for the

lead into Christmas.”

He suggested retailers conduct a strategic

review of the best-performing product

categories over the past 12 months ahead of

the all-important buying season, as well as

under-performing categories.

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Bigger is better for Lightbox labcreated


De Beers-owned Lightbox Jewelry has announced it is expanding into two-carat

blue, pink, and white lab-created diamond jewellery..

Lightbox, the De Beers-owned lab-created diamond fashion jewellery

business, has announced that it will now manufacture and sell larger stones,

while maintaining its $US800 per carat pricing model.

From October, Lightbox will offer pink, blue and white lab-grown diamonds in

sizes up to and including two carats, with a 2-carat round brilliant lab-grown

diamond pendant retailing for $US1,600 plus the cost of setting. Previously,

Lightbox pieces were limited to one carat.

The company also announced it is further expanding its product range with the

launch of 'Finest', a new line which it describes as, “superior quality Lightbox

lab-grown diamonds, priced well-below what is currently offered in the market.”

The Finest product line comes courtesy of a new proprietary diamond

engineering process developed by the De Beers-owned lab-created

diamond manufacturer Element Six. It combines existing chemical vapour

deposition (CVD) technology with a further refinement process that

enhances colour in stones. Element Six opened a new, advanced $US94

million factory in the US state of Oregon in October 2020.

Steve Coe, CEO Lightbox, said, "These exciting new introductions represent

our continued commitment to innovation.

“Our incredible team continues to push the boundaries on lab-grown diamond

engineering technology and thanks to our 50 years of experience, pioneering

approach, IP portfolio and state-of-the-art manufacturing facility we have the

capability to now take the next steps in expanding our lab-grown diamond

product range to include stones of larger size and even higher qualities.”

Coe told US publication JCK Online that Lightbox expanded its product

offering in response to consumer demand for bigger stones, noting its pair of

1-carat lab-created diamond studs have sold well.

He added that Pandora Jewelry’s recent introduction of a lab-created

diamond line aligns with where Lightbox sees the “long-term opportunity

for lab-grown: the ability to sell at an accessible price point.” The jewellery

giant launched its first collection set exclusively with lab-created diamonds,

‘Pandora Brilliance’, in May, while announcing plans to phase out natural

diamonds from its product lines.

Coe also commented on Lightbox’s sales figures, noting its 2020 revenue was

up 50 per cent compared with the prior year and 2021 revenue is expected to

triple the 2020 figure.

The new, larger lab-created diamond jewellery will be available to purchase

via the Lightbox website in late October and a broader rollout to both bricksand-mortar

and online retail stockists is planned for early 2022. Launched

in September 2018, Lightbox jewellery was initially only available to the

US market, however it is now distributed in 75 countries via e-commerce,

including Australia.




Buying group announces strong profits and returns for members

Showcase Jewellers has announced positive financial

results for the year, with $3 million refunded to members

as part of its profit-sharing model.

The Showcase Jewellers buying group has

announced positive financial results for FY2019-

2020 and FY2020-21, with a total of $3 million

repaid to its members across Australasia.

The results exceeded expectations, with Jorge

Joaquim, chief financial officer, Showcase

Jewellers, saying the group’s profits had “almost

doubled” in FY2020-21 compared with the

previous financial year.

Joaquim attributed Showcase’s performance

to a number of factors during the COVID-19

pandemic: “The government provided various

types of assistance to businesses and

individuals... So much money in the [local]

economy led to a spending spree, including

the jewellery industry. Just like many other

businesses, our profits were beyond our

expectations,” he told Jeweller.

In a statement announcing the financial

results, Showcase management said the

buying group had "held steadfast in providing

consistent support to its members over the

past 12 months, while many members in turn

have persevered through trials to thrive in

unprecedented times.”

During the 2020-21 financial year, the buying

group implemented a three-month period

without charging members and distributed

refunds totalling $1 million from members’

‘trading loan’ pool of funds.

As Australasia’s only member-owned jewellery

buying group, Showcase charges a 1 per cent

fee on purchases which fund the trading loan,

with all profits distributed to members annually;

each member’s trading loan balance is fully

refunded once they retire from Showcase.

With retailers in NSW and Victoria currently

impacted by extended lockdowns, Joaquim

said Showcase management was “evaluating

the situation in key COVID-19 areas to assess

members’ needs and will take action accordingly

for specific cases”. As at 1 December 2020,

Showcase Jewellers had 159 members across

Australia, New Zealand and Vanuatu.

Curators of of extraordinary

Scandinavian design

Harper & Rowe sources only

the best freshwater pearls. Our

contemporary designs also

incorporate crystals, semiprecious

stones, sterling silver,

gold and leather.

Connect with us


Kiwi jewellery brand moves across ‘the ditch’

Pride Brands has taken over distribution of Kagi

Jewellery, with stock to be held in Australia instead

of New Zealand.

Pride Brands has secured the Australian

distribution for high-profile New Zealand

jewellery brand Kagi. Founded in 2005, Kagi’s

range includes unique and interchangeable

pendants, necklaces, bracelets and earrings.

Paul McCarthy, group brand manager Pride

Brands, believes the brand is “a good fit” with

the supplier's existing brands.

“Kagi has always had a big following with

customers in Australia but it hasn’t been

represented locally here for many years.

"Since the business was sold in 2018, the new

owners in New Zealand have returned the brand

to its core designs that offer statement jewellery

pieces that are easily interchanged to create

different looks and styles,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy told Jeweller that Kagi stock will

now be held in Australia instead of New

Zealand, which should enable local retailers

to receive orders more quickly and cut out the

“time zone challenges”.

Kagi has more than 80 stockists across

Australasia and McCarthy said Pride Brands

would fully service the brand in Australia, adding

that “previous stockists of Kagi will be given the

first option of stocking the brand in their area”

He added, “We also believe the decision to

return Kagi to the original, versatile designs

that everyone knows and loves will be rewarded

by the brand’s loyal customers [and we] saw

Kagi as being a good fit and point-of-difference

to our existing stable of jewellery brands

from Germany – Engelsrufer, Save Brave and


Pride Brands took over Australian distribution of

the three German brands in September 2020.

Engelsrufer’s flagship design is a sterling silver

basket pendant that can hold interchangeable

‘sound balls’. Herzengel is a range of sterling

silver jewellery for children, while Save Brave

is a boutique range of men's jewellery and

accessories, including chains, leather necklaces

and bracelets and steel bracelets.

On The Market

1 2 3






Jeweller’s special snapshot

of the latest jewellery and

watches to hit the market.

6 7


1 ELLENDALE DIAMONDS Created to capture your individuality and beauty, this three-band ring is crafted in 18-carat white and rose gold and set with shimmering white diamonds and stunning Argyle pink

diamonds, radiating sophistication. 2 ROAMER | West End Collection The Competence Skeleton III is a brilliant example of precision and a clear design language. The 43mm stainless steel case features an

open, skeleton dial creating a window into the fascinating movement beneath. 3 IKECHO AUSTRALIA The 9-carat Keshi Diamond Pendant from the Baroque Collection features an 18mm+ freshwater keshi

pearl delicately set in yellow gold studded with white diamonds. 4 THOMAS SABO | Duraflex Group Australia Thomas Sabo’s Charming Collection presents a range of new filigree creations, with playful,

sparkling padlock and key symbols across ear studs, rings, and necklaces. 5 UNODE50 | Timesupply New to the exciting and dynamic handmade Spanish brand UNOde50 is the Dazzle Collection, studded

with sparkling European crystals. 6 KAGI | Pride Brands The Kagi Elyssian Pendant has its own unique aura. Brushed steel and rose gold plating combine beautifully to create a stunning statement piece.

7 EFVA ATTLING STOCKHOLM | Nordic Fusion The Women Power Earrings by Efva Attling Stockholm pay tribute to all women, formed in a sterling silver W and stamped with the word ‘power’. 8 DORA | RJ

Scanlan & Co. Dora’s new Tantalum Collection is raising eyebrows – and sales. The dark grey metal is a similar weight to platinum and versatile, stretching up to three sizes, with a great price-point.

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10 Years Ago

Time Machine: September 2011

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

Historic Headlines

4 Hong Kong jewellery fair closes amid caution

4 Diamond investment funds stretch to Aus

4 Local jeweller to judge global competition

4 Jewellers 'tickled pink' at gem sale

4 Diamond rings now a bride's choice

New jewellery fair for Sydney?

Only one week after the JAA signed a new

five-year agreement with jewellery trade fair

organiser, Expertise Events, a new fair has been

announced for Sydney.

The Intermedia Group, the publishing house

behind Jewellery World magazine, announced the

launch of a rival jewellery exhibition, set to kick-off

in 2012. The proposed fair – entitled the Jewellery

World Show – will take place only one week

before the official JAA International Jewellery Fair,

September 2-4, 2012, of which Jeweller is the

official media partner.

For JAA chairman Peter Beever, the

announcement came as something of a surprise.

“We are not sure why there is a need for a second

Sydney fair and we’re not confident that the

industry could support a second event at the same

time as our [JAA] fair,” he told Jeweller.

Tiffany may become

takeover target

The respected financial news website, Bloomberg

has reported that Tiffany & Co. could become a

takeover target after its profit-sharing alliance

with Swatch Group was recently terminated.

With the breakup of the Swatch deal, Tiffany

may now lure interest from luxury groups Moët

Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Financiere Richemont.

Jon Cox, a Zürich-based analyst for Kepler

Capital Markets, told Bloomberg, “If someone

like a Richemont, another watch company,

wanted to take over Tiffany’s, that would have

caused complications [because of the Swatch


According to data compiled by Bloomberg, Tiffany

could command a 40 per cent premium in the

event of an acquisition.

September 2011

ON THE COVER SAMS Group Australia

Editor’s Desk

4Pointless Polls Produce Meaningless

Statistics:“Did you recently read an article

about how 86 per cent of people are

“dubious about purchasing jewellery

online” and that 43.8 per cent of people

“wouldn’t buy jewellery online”? I hope

you didn’t, as the statistics most likely

came from a voodoo poll.

"What worries me more than banal

online polls is that many in the jewellery

industry try tricking themselves into

believing that online retailers don’t offer

a genuine alternative for consumers."


4Old School vs New School: “My own

degree, which was endorsed by the

JAA, offered an alternative training

and educational model to the

apprenticeship system and covered

both design and manufacturing skills.

Imagine my shock, therefore, when

I returned to my home state of

Tasmania to find potential employers

were reluctant to recognise my

degree. Some modern courses are

in fact better equipped to prepare

students for work than the traditional


– Emily Snadden, jeweller


Age and Experience:

Young jewellers face no shortages in

skills training courses and degree options

– whether they adequately prepare them

for, or necessarily propel them into, a

paying career in the jewellery industry

is questionable, however... Despite there

being many creative avenues for young

jewellers, many still struggle in getting

established and obtaining entry-level jobs

after training.

Indian suitor tipped for

Zamels Jewellers

Sydney-based private-equity firm Quadrant

is considering the sale of The Jewellery

Group, parent company 101 Zamels and 26

Mazzuchellis stores.

Quadrant acquired the business in March

2007 from the Zamel family and recently

began looking to find an overseas buyer. While

Jeweller’s sources ruled out New Zealand's

James Pascoe, reports indicate an India-based

company is currently undertaking due diligence.

If a new sale proceeds, Quadrant is tipped to be

offloading the group for less than $20 million – a

loss of $30 million in just over four years.

Jewellers squeeze shopping

centres over rent

Retail giant Premier Investments has thrown

down the gauntlet to shopping centre landlords

in a bid to reduce rents, but some jewellery

retailers have already begun the process.

Following a tumble in profits, the retail

powerhouse behind fashion clothing

brands including Just Jeans, Jay Jays and

Portmans threatened to close as many as

50 under-performing stores if shopping

centre landlords don’t 'come to the party' on

rent reviews.

Pressure from a major retail player to reduce

rents could conceivably deliver a much-needed

knock-on effect for jewellers suffering under

exorbitant rents but some jewellery chains have

already demanded rent reductions.



28 | September 2021



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4Who is the target market and how did they

influence the store design?

Anybody who wants bespoke jewellery

design, whether it be jewellery remodelling,

diamond engagement rings, antique jewellery

restoration etcetera.

We tend to attract the customers who have the

wildest ideas and the most challenging jobs that

other jewellers might not take.

Specifically, our customers appreciate quality,

design, honesty and integrity.

This is reflected in the store – we are always

striving for the best, constantly updating and

making changes to our showroom, and are

currently renovating our workshop too.

4With the relationship between store

ambience and consumer purchasing in mind,

which features in the store encourage sales?

Our focus isn’t to encourage sales, as such – 90

per cent of our customers find us through wordof-mouth

– but rather to allow the customer to

be comfortable enough to purchase and to help

them make an informed decision about their

special piece.

I strive to educate the customer first, so they know

exactly what they’re purchasing – allowing them

to view, try and hold.

Providing 3D CAD and/or 3D resin printing

on-site also gives our customers reassurance,

allowing them to get a clearer idea of the

final product.

4What is the store design’s ‘wow factor’?

It is definitely our custom indoor and outdoor

signage, which reflects the new name and

branding of the store.

As the store is located in the basement of a

heritage-listed building on Melbourne’s iconic

Hardware Lane, we couldn’t change the exterior.

Instead, we invested in an amazing custom-made

bronze sign which helps us stand out and attracts

shoppers downstairs to our store.

30 | September 2021
















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Now & Then

Smales Jewellers

Celebrating 84 Years • PERTH, BUNBURY, GERALDTON, KARRATHA AND KALGOORLIE, WA • A moment with Tony Smales, owner & manager



Ron Smales Sr opens

Smales Watch & Clock

Repairs at the rear of his

family’s suburban home

in Kalgoorlie

L to R: Ron Smales Sr and his apprentice at the first Smales Jewellers showroom on Hannan Street,

Kalgoorlie; Shanaya King models the Gold Nugget Collection.

Smales Jewellers is one of Western

Australia’s oldest jewellers and

watchmakers, and with this age comes

precision and history – all beginning with

Thomas Smales, the father of founder

Ron Smales Sr.

Coming from the trade of stonemasonry,

Thomas fixed mantel and wall clocks with

his son, who went on to establish a small

business at the family home in Kalgoorlie.

Ron later worked as an instrument maker

for the Royal Australian Air Force’s 451

Squadron, fixing crashed aircraft in the

Middle East during World War II.

After the war, Ron formalised his

qualifications and completed a watchmaking

apprenticeship in Perth, before opening

his ‘watchmaking jewellery store’ back home

in Kalgoorlie.

When Ron retired, his son – my brother Ron

Smales Jr – took over the Kalgoorlie store

and later expanded the business to a second

location in Subiaco, Perth in 1989.

With the success of the Subiaco store,

Ron Jr’s name became synonymous with

the Perth luxury watch industry and his

lively personality well-known on the Perth

social scene.

Over the following years, Smales Jewellers

opened an additional three stores across

the state and three jewellery workshops in

Subiaco, Kalgoorlie and Bunbury.

Within any business – especially a family

business – death is a great hardship, and

indeed the most recent challenge faced by

Smales Jewellers was Ron Jr passing away

in April 2018.

Smales operations have been continued on

by the family, with ownership bestowed to me

as Ron’s brother and business partner.

Alongside my wife Trish, I manage the

Bunbury store and regularly travel to all

the Smales Jewellers locations, especially

Perth to oversee the Subiaco store and

office operations.

The business continues to celebrate

craftmanship every day through

watchmaking services and jewellery


Not only does Smales make custom designs,

but also showcases a commitment to

quality with exclusive brands such as Rolex,

Mont Blanc, Grand Seiko and Hearts On

Fire Diamonds, which are on display and

available for purchase in the showrooms.

Most recently, in collaboration with the

West Australian Ballet, we have launched

the Bridal Core Collection which celebrates

the ancestry of the brand and the precision

of ballet.

I have overseen this collection, which has a

signature blue sapphire embedded within

the band of each ring, signifying the quality

and craftmanship we strive to accomplish

with each diamond creation.

Another recent success was our Gold

Nugget Collection, which alongside the

Bridal Core Collection has ensured the

Smales name stands the test of time in the

jewellery industry.

Our Gold Nugget Collection is exclusively

sourced from local prospectors in the

Goldfields area, known the Smales family for

many years.


After completing

his watchmaking

apprenticeship, Ron

establishes a storefront

in Kalgoorlie and six

years later, the business

moves to new premises at

Hannan Street


Ron retires, and the store

is purchased by his son

Ron Smales Jr


New premises are

purchased in Kalgoorlie,

and a state-of-the-art

jewellery store fit out is



Ron Jr acquires acquires

the Subiaco Prestige

Jewellery Store and reopens

it as the second

Smales Jewellers location


Ron’s brother Tony

Smales purchases the

Kalgoorlie store


Smales Jewellers

expands into Western

Australia’s second-largest

city, opening a store in

Bunbury; it also becomes

the official and only

Hearts On Fire diamond

retailer in Western



Tony’s niece Leilani Pop-

Markov and her husband

Sacha join the company

to operate the original

Kalgoorlie store


Smales Jewellers

continues its expansion,

opening its fourth and

fifth stores in Geraldton

and Karratha

Above: The Smales Jewellers Subiaco store, which

has been operating since 1989.

The nuggets are brought into the Subiaco

workshop where the jewellers create

beautiful pieces combining them with

South Sea pearls and/or diamonds.

The most recent ‘face’ of Smales

Jewellers, Shanaya King, is also a

Kalgoorlie local who prospected with her

father when she was growing up; one of

her most treasured possessions is a gold

nugget given to her as a gift from her

father when she was 16.

Smales continues to create gold nugget

pieces for their customers as a part of this

heritage collection.

We are proud of our heritage; we strive to

make sure our goods are of the highest

quality the customer can afford, and while

we have a team of 37, we also do our

best to make sure our staff hold similar

mindsets and enjoy their work.

The future is unpredictable, but the

future of our business will always be to

keep the integrity, quality and values of

Smales Jewellers intact.

Succession means having someone to

pass the business down to and that is the

key to maintaining longevity; my niece

Leilani and her partner have worked

within the business since 2009 and

continue the tradition of family within

Smales Jewellers.

We always strive to deliver the best

service, jewellery and watches while

maintaining the family name.

Read the full length interview


32 | September 2021

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Gem-Ed Australia


Passionately educating the industry, gem enthusiasts

and consumers about gemstones



Unusual Opal Part I: Fire opal

L to R: Neha Dani ring; Le Vian pendant; Chopard earrings

Below: Lydia Courteille cuff; Tiffany & Co. ring

Opal is famous for the incredible array

of colours displayed, from vibrant reds –

the most prized – to velvety purples and

everything in between.

This is caused by a unique optical

phenomenon known as play-of-colour.

With such incredible opal specimens here

in our backyard, international varieties

are often lesser known and less available.

Fire opal rarely displays play-of-colour,

yet it attracts collectors based on the

body-colour of the stone itself – a primary

distinction from the better-known types

of opal.

Opals with play-of-colour are termed

precious opal, whereas those without are

called common opal. Although fire opal

may be either, the presence of play-ofcolour

commands a higher price.

Fire opal is the transparent to translucent

variety of opal with a yellow, orange,

or even ruby red body-colour, also

known as ‘Mexican opal’ – derived

from the hue and the most well-known

locality of this material.

The regions of Querétaro and Jalisco in

Mexico are major producers of fire opal,

though other regions include Michoacán,

as well as Bemia in Madagascar,

Kazakhstan, Turkey, Ethiopia, Java in

Indonesia, and the US state of Oregon.

The opal localities of Mexico were

discovered accidentally by labourers

around 1835.

Organised mining efforts commenced

circa 1870, although it is believed these

deposits may have been known to the

Mayan and Aztec people who used fire

opal in art and ritualistic ceremonies,

significantly extending the history of

these gemstones.

The vibrant hues are owed to the

presence of particularly minute

inclusions, coloured by iron.

Given that play-of-colour is less

prevalent, and these fire opals are

admired for their body-colour, they are

often faceted rather than just fashioned

into the cabochon or freeform shapes

commonly seen in other types of opal.

Opal is often classified according to

its geological setting, such as the

sedimentary context for Queensland

boulder opal.

Unlike boulder opal, fire opal is volcanic

with some degree of crystallinity – i.e.,

some order to its structure.

Generally, this variety can be up to 66

million years old.

Despite differences in appearance, fire

opal is still hydrated silica – the same

material as other opal – and so it must be

treated delicately.

Clean gently with a toothbrush in warm

soapy water – avoid the ultrasonic. Be

sure to also avoid heating and thermal

shock as this can cause cracking and

crazing in the stone and can even change

the internal structure.

Fire opal

From the Latin opalus

meaning “precious

stone”, and fire, due to

its flame-like colour

Colour: Yellow to

orange and red

Found in: Mexico,

Madagascar, Turkey,

Kazakhstan, Ethiopia,

Indonesia and the US

Mohs Hardness: 5.5–6

Class: Silicate

Lustre: Subvitreous

Formula: SiO 2

.nH 2


Being a hydrated material, fire opal

is not to be left in strong light for long

periods of time; otherwise, the stone can

dehydrate and crack.

As with all kinds of opal, fire opal should

be avoided for everyday rings and other

jewellery that is highly exposed for

extended periods of time.

Treatments seen in this variety of

opal include coatings and dyes; some

examples have been known to leak dye

when left immersed in water overnight.

Synthetic opal is not uncommon, nor is it

new in the world of gemstones, and this

is no different for fire opal, which has

synthetic options both with and without


A certain type of synthetic, known as

Mexifire, is particularly close to its

natural counterpart in its structure and

its colouring mechanism (traces of iron).

To the astute gemmologist, fine

pinpoint inclusions throughout the

synthetic material is likely to be one

of the most helpful characteristics

for identification.

Mikaelah Egan FGAA Dip DT

began her career in the industry at

Diamonds of Distinction in 2015. She now

balances her role as a gemmologist at

Vault Valuations in Brisbane with studying

geology at the University of Queensland.


September 2021 | 35


White Metals

ARABELLA RODEN explores how

the white metals category is adapting

to an unpredictable market, and

what the future holds.

Molten gold is poured. Image: SHUTTERSTOCK


Facing Page (L to R):

Roberto Coin, Cartier, Georg

Jensen; Bulgari; Fope


White Metal



s a jewellery category, white metals

– platinum, palladium, silver, and

white gold – are impacted not only by

consumer demand, but by a complex interplay of

macroeconomic factors.

The disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic to global

supply chains – particularly in the mining sector – as well

as investor confidence and lowered demand from the

automotive sector, have all led to some volatility in the

white metals market.

“Having suffered steep falls in early 2020 as result of

the global COVID-19 outbreak, precious metal prices

rebounded strongly in the second half of 2020 as the

pandemic triggered stockpiling by investors looking to

protect their wealth,” explains Richard Hayes, CEO

The Perth Mint.

“This, alongside supply deficits, pushed gold prices up

by 25 per cent last year, while silver rose 47 per cent, and

platinum and palladium by 11 per cent and 23 per cent,


Hayes notes that precious metal prices “again trended

higher in early 2021 on a more optimistic economic

footing, before retracing markedly” as a result of economic

policy changes and the Delta variant of COVID-19.

White metal jewellery demand has followed a similar

pattern, with the initial shock of the pandemic waning

around July of 2020 before a sustained period of growth,

later interrupted in mid-2021 by the Delta variant and

associated lockdowns across NSW and Victoria.

Still, as a diverse category comprising premium priced

platinum, palladium and white gold and affordable

silver, white metals have widespread appeal as well as a

competitive advantage in the high-value bridal sector –

though this too has experienced recurrent disruption as a

result of the pandemic.

Platinum progress

Platinum prices reached a five-year high of $US1,266

per ounce in February 2021, rising steadily following a

plummet in March 2020 to the lowest level since 2003.

Still, platinum prices remain significantly below that of

gold, palladium, and rhodium – all components in the

manufacture of white gold jewellery.

Rhodium in particular has experienced a “phenomenal

price movement” since January 2019, according to UK

resources firm Johnson Matthey, rising from $US2,300

to $US29,200 per ounce in March 2021; since May, it has

plateaued at approximately $US15,000 per ounce.

Chris Botha, innovation division manager at Palloys,

observes, “Platinum pricing has had a continuous run

for some time, and while it has slowed a little, jewellers

will be weighing up the additional labour costs of


rhodium price per

ounce ($US) in

March 2021, a record

high and increase of

71% in three months

Business Line


increase in demand

for platinum from

the jewellery sector,

Q1 2021, compared

with 2020

World Platinum

Investment Council


of the world's

silver demand

comes from



Metals Focus


forecast platinum

supply in 2021, an

increase of 16%

World Platinum

Investment Council


palladium price

per ounce ($US)

in May 2021, an

all-time peak


working in platinum against rapidly having to purchase

rhodium plating.

“The rhodium market is very volatile and has seen steep

increases in pricing over the last 18 months.”

Like palladium, South Africa is the largest producer

of rhodium. It accounts for 80 to 90 per cent of total

global production, which was significantly reduced by

temporary mine closures last year, with the overall

‘rhodium deficit’ – the gulf between supply and

demand – more than doubling.

The unprecedented upward pressure on rhodium

prices is largely from the automotive sector, with

manufacturers in China and Europe utilising the metal

to reduce emissions.

The automotive sector has also buoyed platinum prices,

in tandem with jewellery demand and disrupted supplies,

Hayes notes.

The unprecedented upward

pressure on rhodium

prices is largely from the

automotive sector, with

manufacturers in China and

Europe utilising the metal

to reduce emissions"

According to the World Platinum Investment Council,

jewellery demand for the metal recovered by 22 per cent

in the first quarter of 2021 when compared with the same

period in 2020, driven by China and the US.

In April 2021, the Council predicted the overall platinum

jewellery market would recover the ground lost in 2020,

rising 13 per cent.

Industry organisation Platinum Guild International (PGI)

tracks demand for platinum jewellery across a number of

retail chains in the key markets of the US, China, Japan,

and India.

Commenting on its first-quarter report, Huw Daniel, CEO

PGI, noted that while jewellery demand could “slow in

some markets as subsequent waves of COVID-19 cloud

the outlook”, there had been “a renewed enthusiasm for

platinum” within the jewellery industry.

Jewellers are increasingly engaging with this precious

metal, which has been effectively marketed as a metal of

meaning and become important as consumers look for

ways to symbolise and mark occasions in restricted and

unprecedented times,” Daniel said.

Indeed, platinum sales across PGI's key markets were

driven by targeted campaigns promoting branded

platinum collections. In India, historically a far stronger

September 2021 | 37


market for yellow gold, retailers who took part in PGI’s ‘Platinum

Days of Love’ campaign reported a 17 per cent increase in platinum

sales in the first quarter of 2021.

Locally, Greville Ingham, national sales manager at Peter W Beck,

observes, “The family of white metals has seen popularity recently

and we have especially noted a great demand for platinum jewellery,

in both men’s and ladies’ wedding rings.”

Ingham noted two factors increasing the demand for platinum:

“Platinum is perceived as a rare and more exotic precious metal, so

the current relative affordability has made it accessible to those who

may not have previously considered it,” he explains.

“The second factor drawing customers to platinum is the qualities of

high purity – platinum being a hypoallergenic metal and a naturally

strong white colour without the need for plating.”

As the most affordable member of the

precious white metal category, silver has

consistently maintained a stable level of

demand in the market"

Ingham adds, “In terms of the white metal market, the relative price

difference of platinum to white gold has lately made platinum a

popular choice. We see that this pricing will be an influencing factor

for some time.”

At Chemgold, director Darren Sher has observed “a slight increase

in 9-carat and 14-carat white gold as well as platinum being ordered

– this of course due to the higher palladium cost pushing up the cost

of 18-carat white gold.”

Sher adds, “Overall, the price increase in palladium has resulted in

customers utilising lower-carat white gold as well as platinum quite

often; however, having said that, the majority of our clients prefer

18-carat white gold or platinum for the white metal jewellery.”

Showing the strength of white metal demand, Botha told Jeweller,

“Our sales data shows the spread of sales in 18-carat golds to be

50 per cent yellow gold, 35 per cent white, and the balance rose gold.

"However, by weight value if we add platinum – which nearly

matches yellow gold for sales – definitively, the white metals are

selling better.”

In refining terms, the figures echoed the sales data with Botha

noting “increases in white gold and platinum refining, with sporadic

large bursts of platinum refining, as jewellers

opt to save more of the white metal until

there is enough for a larger refining job.”

He added, “Our sweep

and four-metal recovery

services have seen a

significant increase

as jewellers want to

recover the palladium and

platinum from their small

lemel and sweeps.”

Proudly distributed by

At Chemgold, demand for both

two-metal (gold and silver)

and four-metal (gold, silver,

palladium, and platinum) and

platinum refining had remained

stable when compared to

previous years.


02 9417 0177 |













Yellow Gold Chronograph

100m Water Resistant

AUD $649


Rose Gold Chronograph

100m Water Resistant

AUD $589

Meanwhile, the Peter W Beck precious metal refining division is now

refining more platinum and palladium “than ever”.

“We have certainly seen those wishing to refine here in Australia

directing these metals to us – platinum and palladium require

specialist knowledge and techniques to recover,” says Ingham.

Silver in the spotlight

L to R: Van Cleef & Arpels; Thomas Sabo

As the most affordable member of the precious white metal

category, silver has consistently maintained a stable level of demand

in the market.

Between 2010 and 2019, the year-on-year change in demand for

silver jewellery averaged 5 per cent, compared with 9 per cent for

gold jewellery, according to the World Silver Survey 2021 report

published by The Silver Institute and Metals Focus, an independent

precious metals research firm.

Worldwide, silver jewellery fabrication accounts for approximately

one-fifth of worldwide demand for the metal and the Silver Five

Year Forecasting Quarterly report, also authored by Metals Focus,

predicts this will rise to a quarter of total demand by the mid-2020s.

From a manufacturing perspective, Botha says, “There has always

been high demand for silver, and as a more affordable metal, it saw

big growth in Australia [in the past year] due to many manufacturers

bringing that production back on-shore to offset the shipping issues

the world has endured since the onset of the pandemic.”

At Palloys, “scientific silver” – used for industrial, research, and

medical applications – also led to an increase in demand for “highend”

refining services.

The Perth Mint’s Hayes observed a surge in demand for refined

silver “investment products”, such as bullion, in the first and

second quarters of 2021 due to a rally in the silver price – though he

notes that the price per ounce has since “suffered several bouts of

weakness in recent months”.

“Silver has been struggling to regain momentum, as growing

concerns over the highly contagious Delta variant sparked a sell-off

across industrial commodities,” he adds.

Ph: 03 9553 3777

Silver prices remain relatively high from a historical perspective; it







PALLADIUM USD/oz 2,346.00

PLATINUM USD/oz 1,006.00












2017 Jul 2018 Jul 2019 Jul 2020 Jul 2021 Jul

2017 Jul 2018 Jul 2019 Jul 2020 Jul 2021 Jul

2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 2018 2020

2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 2018 2020



SILVER USD/oz 23.98

RHODIUM USD/oz 16,400.00











Jul Jul Jul Jul

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 Jul

2017 Jul 2018 Jul 2019 Jul 2020 Jul 2021 Jul

2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 2018 2020

2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 2018 2020

Source: Kitco. All prices in $US per ounce



Australian leading wholesaler, specialising in manufacturing

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

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

bangles and findings. Suppliers to retailers and wholesalers.


P: 03 9650 5955 | E:


% increase (Year on Year) % increase (vs 2019)






Jan '21 Feb '21 Mar '21 Apr '21 May '21 Jun '21 Jul '21

Source: Retail Edge Consultants.

Reflects increase and decrease

of sales in dollar terms. July

figures impacted by lockdowns

in NSW and Victoria


The Perth Mint


increased 137 per cent during 2020, compared with gold’s 38 per cent.

Yet from a jewellery perspective, consumers Western markets such as

Australia tend not to be influenced as strongly by fluctuations in the

silver price – particularly when compared with gold.

Silver jewellery also enjoy other benefits; the World Silver Survey 2021

notes that the shift toward e-commerce is generally “positive as silver

jewellery’s price points work well in an online space”.

This shift was pronounced in Australia over the course of the pandemic,

with Australia Post’s 2021 Inside Australian Online Shopping report

noting that e-commerce spending increased by 57 per cent in the 12

months to 31 December 2020.

Potentially indicating strong consumer demand for silver jewellery are

recent financial results announced by Pandora, the world’s largest

jewellery producer by volume.

The company refers to 925 sterling silver as its ‘signature metal’

and utilises an estimated 340 tonnes of silver per year across its

product lines.

Pandora recently upgraded its forecast for the year, following promising

financial results and citing a robust recovery in the US which is also the

largest market for sterling silver jewellery by value.

In the Australian market, the silver and alternative metals jewellery

category has seen double-digit increases in sales dollars every month

from January to June this year when compared with 2020, according to

data from Retail Edge Consultants.

Even taking into account the impact of the extended COVID-19

lockdowns across Victoria and NSW in July, Retail Edge’s data – drawn

from more than 400 stores – indicated sales in this category were still

6 per cent higher than in July 2019.

However, the ongoing and unpredictable COVID-19 pandemic is likely to

continue to weigh on both supply and demand for silver jewellery, and




+61 2 9266 0636




Left: Cobalt, used in

a number of white

metal alloys including

platinum alloys.

Below: Working at the

Palloys Fabricated

Metals Division.

A notable trend in the white metals market has been an emphasis on alloys and

mixed designs in order to manage costs.

“We have noticed that a lot more two-tone designs are being made, utilising rose

and yellow gold for shanks and accents to lower the cost. However, the setting is

always in a white alloy,” Chemgold’s Darren Sher tells Jeweller.

He adds, “With respect to this we have also observed a minor trend in mixed carat,

such as an 18-carat yellow or rose gold shank with a 9 or 14-carat white gold setting,

again to reduce cost for the customer but keeping a similar effect.”

At Palloys, Botha observes, “The Fabricated Metals division of Palloys has always

had a very large assortment of alloys on offer to a typically niche market, however,

the introduction of the Alloy Properties pages on the new website, located under the

Resources tab, have stirred up great interest in these ‘old-but-new-again’ alloys

like palladium silver.”

Botha also notes an increase in demand for Argentium Pro 935, which combines

93.5 per cent silver with germanium to produce a low-maintenance, non-tarnish

silver alloy that does not display firescale during production.

At Chemgold, the 18-carat white gold 18W132 alloy “continues to be very popular”

given higher palladium prices.

“With 13.2 per cent PGMs [platinum group metals] it is a very good alloy and on

average 10 per cent less expensive than the traditional 18-carat white gold with 15

per cent palladium,” Sher explains.

“The metal is still premium white, hard wearing and great for polishing,” he adds.

Ingham predicts that consumer tastes may also

shift away from white metals in general.

“We have seen white metals enjoying popularity

over the last three to five years, but in the cyclical

nature of the market, we are predicting to again

see popularity of yellow gold jewellery emerging

in due course,” he tells Jeweller.

Generational appeal

While yellow gold has seen an undeniable

resurgence in the market in recent years,

some industry commentators have noted

a generational divide of demand between

Millennials and Gen Z, the latter of which

appears to prefer white metals.

In a 2019 survey of 18,000 consumers across six

international markets, the World Gold Council

found that “gold jewellery resonates less well

with younger consumers, most notably the 18-22

Gen Zs.

"The connection to gold’s emotional heritage is

weaker among this group.”

Intriguingly, this trend was particularly

pronounced in the Chinese market, with the

report noting, “They are considerably less likely

than Gen Z consumers in other markets to have

bought gold jewellery in the last year – 18 per

cent compared with 26 per cent globally.

"And only 31 per cent of them agree that wearing

gold helps them to fit in with their friends,

compared with 46 per cent at a global level.”

In contrast, Millennial attitudes toward gold

jewellery were “not significantly different to those

of older generations”.

While yellow gold has seen

an undeniable resurgence in

the market in recent years,

some industry commentators

have noted a generational

divide of demand between

Millennials and Gen Z, the

latter of which appears to

prefer white metals"

Research conducted by Platinum Guild

International found that younger Chinese

consumers strongly preferred platinum jewellery.

“In China, platinum is most popular among Gen

Z and Millennials aged between 18 and 45 – the

future driver of jewellery consumption,” the

report noted.

“Younger Chinese consumers prefer platinum

in jewellery not only to signify relationship

milestones such as engagement rings, wedding

bands and anniversary bands, but in a range of

non-bridal types of jewellery, such as fashion

rings, necklaces, earrings and chains.”

These findings were echoed in De Beers’ 2018

Diamond Insight Report, entitled Millennials

and Gen Z: Capturing the Opportunity, which

noted that 96 per cent of bridal rings acquired by

Chinese women contained platinum, while just

4 per cent contained gold.

Worldwide, white metals still dominate the bridal

market. In the US, white gold remained the most

popular choice for engagement rings at 45 per

cent, followed by silver at 19 per cent, according

to the De Beers report.

As Gen Z – currently aged between 11 and 25 –

further ages into the engagement and marriage

bracket, it is likely that white metals will continue

to enjoy a competitive edge in the bridal category.

With thousands of weddings delayed by

lockdowns across Australia, jewellers may be

well-placed to take advantage with white metal

offerings designed to cater to these consumers

in the future.

In the meantime, the affordability of silver and

its resilience and consistency add to the overall

strength of the white metals category.

44 | September 2021

L to R: David Yurman; Fope

Chris Botha


“Our sales data shows

the spread of sales in

18-carat golds to be 50

per cent yellow gold,

35 per cent white, and

the balance rose gold.

However, by weight

value if we add platinum,

the white metals are

selling better.”


Key Points



The volatile

rhodium market

has seen prices

surge to dizzying

highs this year

Carat drop

Greville Ingham

Peter W Beck

Darren Sher


“The family of white

metals has seen

popularity recently

and we have especially

noted a great demand

for platinum jewellery,

in both men’s and

ladies’ wedding rings.”

"Overall, the price

increase in palladium has

resulted in customers

utilising lower-carat

white gold as well as

platinum quite often;

however, having said that,

the majority of our clients

prefer 18-carat white gold

or platinum for the

white metal jewellery."

Due to high

palladium prices,

some jewellers

are opting for

lower-carat white

gold alloys or



Stable silver

Silver demand


consistent and

is relatively

unaffected by

price changes



The pure, bright

metal is enjoying

robust demand

locally and



Local Talent


The Timekeeper


Metal: Re-purposed

from early 1930s

Waltham USA watch,

stainless steel

Gemstone: Opal

Angus & Aaron Zhao

Sydney, NSW



Double Band

Buttercup Lemon

Quartz Ring

Metal: 18-carat

yellow gold


White diamond,

lemon quartz

Natasha & Alex


Fortitude Valley, QLD

and Sydney, NSW


The Gardener


Metal: 9-carat

yellow gold

Gemstone: Ruby

Maeve Woodhouse

Auckland, NZ

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

gemstones in the world, but also the most talented jewellers and

designers. Jeweller showcases a tapestry of local masterpieces,

meticulously crafted with great artisanship right here on home soil


Kaleidoscope Rainbow

Half Band Rings

Metal: 14-carat yellow gold

Gemstones: Emerald, citrine,

sapphire, amethyst

Lucie Ferguson

Sydney, NSW


Rhapsody Golden

Topaz Earrings

Metal: 18-carat

yellow gold

Gemstones: Golden

topaz, champagne


Rebecca Sampson

Melbourne, VIC

46 | September 2021



Botanical Jewel

Hoop Earrings

Metals: Yellow goldplated

sterling silver


Tourmaline, jasper

Nina Oikawa

Melbourne, VIC



Amethyst Drop


Metals: 18-carat

yellow and

white gold



freshwater pearl,

white diamond

Sarah Kellett

Melbourne, VIC



Rainbow Snake


Metals: 14-carat goldplated



Tourmaline, topaz

Camille Paloma Walton

Wellington, NZ


Fancy Yellow

Diamond Ring

Metals: 18-carat white

and yellow gold

Gemstones: Green,

yellow, orange, and

white diamond



Adelaide, SA



Sunny Signet Ring

Metal: 9-carat

yellow gold

Gemstones: Sapphire,

citrine, diamond

Laura Miers

Sydney, NSW


Rainbow Goddess Ring

Metal: 9-carat yellow gold

Gemstones: Pink, orange,

yellow, green, teal, and

blue sapphire, opal

Michelle Kennedy

Adelaide, SA






Hinged Bracelet

Metals: Rose gold,

sterling silver

Gemstone: Peridot

Shannon Cornish

Woodside, SA

September 2021 | 47


Making the Cut

In the quest for ever-more beautiful and brilliant

diamonds, creativity and innovation abound in the

world of diamond cuts, writes ARABELLA RODEN.

DIAMOND FEATURE | Making the Cut

Lili Diamonds


By The


Nicole Mera ring

featuring Rose cut and

Round Brilliant white

diamonds and cushioncut

yellow diamond

Of the famous four ‘C’s of diamond

assessment, none is more important

than cut. As the only element of a

diamond’s appearance that can be controlled

by human hands, the cut has the power to make

– or break – a stone’s value.

“Cut is the heart of the diamond,” says Maulin Shah,

director of World Shiner.

“It is the most important characteristic. If the cut isn't

nice – the stone could be D colour and internally flawless,

but it won't sparkle.”

Alongside brilliance and fire, cut also impacts the other

‘Cs’ – it can both saturate and soften a stone’s colour,

remove inclusions to improve clarity, and make a stone

appear larger than its carat weight would otherwise imply.

While the vast majority of the world’s diamonds are cut as

round brilliants, master cutters and designers worldwide

have explored new ways to differentiate stones, enhance

a diamond’s natural beauty to its greatest potential, and

support the creativity of jewellers.

The history of branded or ‘proprietary’ cuts – those that

were trademarked or even patented – can be traced back

to one of the most venerable diamond cutting houses,

with Joseph Asscher, co-founder of Royal Asscher, who

created the Asscher cut in 1902.

While reports vary over whether Asscher patented the

cut – the Gemological Institute of America’s journal, Gems

& Gemology, asserts that he did – it has since become a

generic cut; an updated version, the Royal Asscher cut,

was patented in 2002.

Similarly, the 66-facet Radiant cut – invented by New

York cutter Henry Grossbard in 1977 – was once a

patented design and has since become standard industry

terminology, as has the Princess cut, which was developed

by Bez Ambar and Israel Itzkowitz in 1979, strongly

influenced by Basil Watermeyer’s patented Barion cut

and Arpad Nagy’s Profile cut.




of GIA round

brilliants graded

‘Excellent’ cut


number of facets

on a round

brilliant diamond


year the GIA

began issuing

cut grades on

diamond reports


year the GIA

launched its

Proprietary Cut


Garry Holloway – director of Holloway Diamonds and

inventor of the IdealScope, Holloway Cut Advisor (HCA)

and Angular Spectrum Evaluation Tool (ASET) – calls

the Asscher, Radiant, and Princess cuts “the only three

successful branded cuts”, though he laments, “The GIA

have never used these names and this provides confusion

for retail salespeople and consumers.”

Branded breakthrough

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, an influx of proprietary

cuts and shapes entered the market, largely driven by

“radical changes in the diamond pipeline, widespread

reliance on standardised price lists, advances in diamond

cutting technology, and falling profit margins throughout the

industry”, according to Gems & Gemology.

Many did not withstand the test of time.

“The branded cuts were largely developed as ways to

improve yields or charge more for a few extra facets,”

Holloway says. “The yield-increasing diamonds were the

worst, essentially turning an 80-point Ideal cut round

diamond hiding inside a rough into a 1-carat disaster.

“Human vision – when confronted with miniscule flashes from

a 100-facet half-carat diamond – sees ‘mush’,” he explains.

“Side by side [with classic cut diamonds], they just didn’t

stack up.”

And when it comes to selling a diamond, sparkle is, of

course, key. “Maximum scintillation and fire is what

customers want to see,” says Cindy Eidukevicius-Jones,

diamond trainer and marketing and merchandise manager

at the Nationwide Jewellers buying group.

“A diamond needs to show how lively and bright it

can become.”

However, a select few proprietary cuts managed to

provide enough of an advantage to jewellers and appeal to

consumers to maintain an ongoing presence in the market.

Russian manufacturer Kristall Smolensk’s 89-facet,

octagonal-shaped Phoenix cut, developed in the ’90s,


September 2021 | 49

Making the Cut | DIAMOND FEATURE

Golden Jubilee


545.65 carats

A selection of diamond cuts

developed by Sir Gabriel

Tolkowsky from the Flower Cuts

and Sea Shell Cuts collections



273.85 carats

THE FATHER of MODERN BRILLIANCE A moment with Sir Gabriel Tolkowsky

Over a career spanning more than six

decades, Sir Gabriel ‘Gabi’ Tolkowsky’s name

has become synonymous with the art of

diamond cutting.

Born in Tel Aviv in 1939 to a family of diamond

cutters – including his uncle Marcel, credited

as the inventor of the round brilliant cut – Sir

Gabi was trained by his father Jean and at

the age of 16, was tasked with polishing a

100-carat emerald-cut diamond.

In 1975, he began working with De Beers for

whom he developed the Flower Cuts collection.

In the 1980s, Sir Gabi and his son Jean

Paul – also a master cutter – were secretly

commissioned to cut the Unnamed Brown,

a 755.5-carat brown stone unearthed at the

Premier Mine in South Africa.

An underground workshop, free of vibration,

was constructed to ensure no damage came

to the stone as it was meticulously whittled

into a 545.65-carat Golden Jubilee Diamond,

which remains the largest cut and faceted

diamond in the world – outweighing even the

Cullinan I, which had held the title since 1908.

The stone was completed in 1990 and later

became part of the Thai Crown Jewels.

When De Beers unearthed a 599-carat rough

in South Africa in 1986, Sir Gabi was also

selected to lead an expert team to transform

it into what would become the world’s largest

D Flawless stone, The Centenary Diamond.

The rough was so fragile and so valuable, that

no heat or laser could be used in the initial

cutting process.

Years later, Sir Gabi recalled, “I will never

forget how I worked on the Centenary for

154 working days – an entire working year

– carving and carving away with my bare

hands. I removed more than 50 carats before

we started polishing.”

The finished diamond – weighing 273.85 carats

with a modified heart shape – was completed

in February 1991 and unveiled in May that year,

insured for more than $US100 million.

Drawing from techniques developed during

the polishing of the Centenary and the Golden

Jubilee Diamonds and from the De Beers

Flower Cuts, Sir Gabi created the Gabrielle

cut, known as the first ‘triple brilliant’ and

which was later sold throughout Europe,

Asia, and the US.

Founding his namesake company Gabi S

Tolkowksy & Sons in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1995,

he later created the Sea Shells Cuts collection.

In 2003, he was presented with the title

Chevalier de L'Ordre du Roi Leopold II

(Knight of the Order of King Leopold II) for his

services to the diamond industry.

Here, Sir Gabi discusses his experiences

and legacy as the world’s foremost master

diamond cutter.

What was it like to grow up in a family with

such a strong connection to diamonds and

diamond cutting?

GT: I was the sixth generation, learning cutting

and polishing from my father Jean Tolkowsky,

who cut and polished as a young boy of 10 years

old together with his cousin Marcel Tolkowsky,

learning from their fathers and uncles. So it

was natural to attract my own wish to become a

diamond cleaver, cutter and polisher.

What are your fondest memories of your

career in the diamond industry?

GT: Having participated in the planning and

creations of the Flower Cuts, the Sea Shells

Cuts, and others, and the Centenary Diamond

and Golden Jubilee.

You were responsible for cutting the largest

faceted diamond in history, the Golden

Jubilee. How did this come about and what

did this process involve?

GT: Without having a team of 15 expert

scientists, technicians, security guards and

master diamond cutters that communicated

daily with me during three long years, I

would have never been able to achieve the

uniqueness of such a creation.

Together we realised that every single

diamond is effectively an individual that will

attract every human’s senses; each one of

them is a unique beauty.

As it is said, “Beauty is altogether in the eye of

the beholder.” This, without any doubt, was and

still is the basic reason for humans to continue

to manufacture and deal with diamonds.

How has diamond cutting evolved over time,

both as an art and commercially?

GT: No matter what the position is of humans

that are involved in transforming a rough

diamond into a polished one, they are making

art that allows them also to be commercially

busy if they wish.

They are all part of a unique artistic movement.

Where is the centre of innovation, today, in

terms of diamond cutting?

GT: Without any doubt, due to the evolutionary

period that we are witnessing, centres of

innovation do exist and will continue to

develop in various parts of the world.

This is because approaching beauty is a

normal human evolution; it allows people

– men and women – to express themselves

according to their cultural environment.

As a matter of fact, beauty is not only an

artistic reaction, but also a way to wish, hope

and dream – beauty is a haven of peace!

Without any doubt, it is my wish to continue

the legacy of the importance of beauty by my

children and grandchildren.

50 | September 2021

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Making the Cut | DIAMOND FEATURE


Traditional Diamond Shapes

Round Brilliant

58 Facets


58 Facets

Trillion / Trilliant

31 Facets (Accent) or

50 Facets (Solitaire)


58 Facets


58 Facets

Rose Cut

3 to 24 Facets


57 Facets


57 Facets

Old Mine Cut

58 Facets


70 Facets


72 Facets

Old European Cut

58 Facets


57 Facets


57 Facets


14 Facets

is still available today, as is the Dream cut – a modified

square cut patented in 2002 – from US manufacturer

Hearts On Fire, which is now part of Chow Tai Fook

Jewellery Group.

Lili Diamonds’ Crisscut and Lily cut, released to the market

in 1996, are also still available and the company has since

developed four more internationally patented designs:

Crisscut Cushion, Orchidea, Wonder and the Meteor, a

decagonal-shaped diamond with 71 facets, in 2010.

Speaking to Jeweller in 2018, Dotan Siman-Tov, managing

director Lili Diamonds, said, “There are several other

successful patent diamonds other than Lili Diamonds

around the world, but many suppliers found that it’s one

thing to invent it [a new cut] and another thing to market it

and that’s not easy. There is a story to build for each stone.”

Siman-Tov believed the problem was a lack of

differentiation: “The new cuts were not dramatically

different to the average consumer, whereas our cuts

are different because, for example, we have the Lily Cut

and Orchidea that are flower shapes and the Crisscut and

the Crisscut Cushion are different facets than, let’s say, the

regular emerald or regular cushion.”

Patented cuts comprised approximately 60 per cent of Lili

Diamonds’ sales in 2018, commanding price premiums

and manufactured on larger stones of five to 10 carats.

Indeed, Holloway notes that cuts incorporating extra facets

work best on stones “two to 10 times larger than what is

usually produced".

The year 2018 also marked the patent of eight diamonds

marketed as the ‘world’s brightest’: the Sirius Star 80

Round, Sirius Star 100 Round, Sirius Star Cushion, Sirius

Star Cushion 100, Sirius Star Square, Sirius Star Octagon,

Sirius Star 88 Round and Sirius Star Oval.

Developed by master cutter Mike Botha and licensed by

Dharmanandan Diamonds, the cuts were marketed to

offer “additional light performance compared to a round

brilliant cut and address the retailer’s issue of shrinking

profit margins.”

Garry Holloway

Holloway Diamonds

"A diamond can have an

Excellent cut grade – or

even top performance with

my Holloway Cut Advisor – but

it can still be as dull as

dishwater, In theory, a black

diamond could receive a

XXX cut grade."

Sir Gabriel Tolkowsky


"'Beauty is altogether in the eye

of the beholder.' This, without

any doubt, was and still is the

basic reason for humans to

continue to manufacture and

deal with diamonds."

Cindy Eidukevicius-Jones

Nationwide Jewellers

"Maximum scintillation

and fire is what customers

want to see. A diamond

needs to show how lively and

bright it can become."

In particular, the Sirius Star 80 was said to feature greater

scintillation and increased light return, improved brilliance

and higher visual appeal than various other round cuts.

Its 80 inclined facets include an eight-pointed star pattern

in the pavilion with 100 per cent light return while the

Sirius Star 100 features a 10-pointed version.

Botha said at the time, “This is a tremendous milestone

for the Sirius Star brand as Dharmanandan has the

depth of expertise and global reach to carry the brand in

adequate inventory in all the sizes and clarity necessary

for successful distribution.”

That same year, the GIA established a Proprietary

Cut Program which includes branded cut names and

descriptions on its diamond reports.

Back to basics

Of course, the vast majority of jewellers are well aware of

the power of cut – Shah notes that the Australian market

is particularly well-educated among World Shiner’s

international customer base.

Yet there are still persistent misconceptions when it comes

to avoiding poorly-cut stones, particularly when searching

for niche products such as fancy shapes, or purchasing

fancy-colour diamonds.

First and foremost, it is essential to understand that a

diamond’s cut is not a single attribute, but rather refers to

several different elements – not including the shape.

“Cut and shape can be confused,” Eidukevicius-Jones

explains. Shape is whether the diamond is round, pear

shape, cushion, etcetera; cut is how the stone has

been manufactured/polished, and whether it is graded

Excellent, Very Good, and so on.”

Many patented designs include both cut and shape, such

as Lili Diamonds' Lily Cut.

John Chapman, director Gemetrix and Delta Diamond

Laboratory, adds, “‘Cut’ has mixed connotations – even

to diamond dealers. It encompasses several different

52 | September 2021

The Natural Color Diamond Association is a not-for-profit organization

with a mission to promote fair and informed trading by providing up-todate

resources and advocating transparency, all while celebrating the beauty

and ethos of colored diamonds.


Making the Cut | DIAMOND FEATURE

Above: Calleija Glacier cut

diamond ring, courtesy

Calleija. Right: Rose cut

diamonds, courtesy

Kunming Diamonds

attributes that include proportions, angles,

symmetry, and facet junctions.”

Grading laboratories“distil these properties

into grades that can be compared to a

standardised reference”.

While the GIA, International Gemological

Institute (IGI) and HRD Antwerp use a fivepoint

scale to grade cut, ranging from Poor

to Excellent, the American Gem Society (AGS)

includes a sixth grade above Excellent, Ideal.

Says Chapman, “For round brilliants, the

parameters are well understood – table width

53 per cent, pavilion depth 43 per cent, and

crown height 16 per cent.

A diamond close to those specifications would

be graded ‘Excellent’ for proportions and outside

these ranges, proportion grades of Very Good,

Good, Fair, and Poor have been defined.”

He adds, “The advent of scanners that can

accurately profile a diamond and measure its

proportions, facet angles and symmetry has

allowed objective measures of the cut.

“Departures from this ideal cut are detrimental

to the appearance of a stone through loss of

brilliance, fire, and apparent size.”

And though not an official term, a diamond may

also be referred to as ‘Triple Excellent’ – also

noted as XXX or triple-ex – if its proportion,

symmetry, and polish have all been graded

as Excellent.

While the cut grades are well-established

within the industry, Holloway says the biggest

misconception about diamond cuts is “that

Triple Excellent round cut diamonds are

excellent diamonds”.

“Seventy-two per cent of round diamonds

submitted to the GIA receive the top cut grade of

Excellent – the standard is so lenient you can drive

a truck sideways through it!” he says.

Meanwhile, the Hearts and Arrows descriptor –

introduced by the Japanese diamond industry in

the 1980s and brought to the US market in the

early 1990s – can add another layer of confusion.

“The concept of Hearts and Arrows was introduced

as a way of determining if a round brilliant has been

cut with the right proportions,” Chapman says.

While the vast majority

of the world’s diamonds

are cut as round brilliants,

master cutters and designers

worldwide have explored

new ways to differentiate

stones, enhance a diamond’s

natural beauty to its greatest

potential, and support the

creativity of jewellers"

Commanding a premium price, these diamonds

are precision-cut for physical and optical symmetry,

resulting in the namesake pattern appearing when

viewed through a special light scope.

“Every Hearts and Arrows diamond will be

graded Triple Excellent for cut, symmetry

and polish, but not every Triple Excellent will

necessarily be graded as a Hearts and Arrows

diamond,” explains Eidukevicius-Jones.

IGI and HRD Antwerp offer Hearts and

Arrows certification, though the GIA does not.

Notably, a Hearts and Arrows diamond may not

always display optimal brilliance.

A question of quality

Since the GIA began grading cut quality in 2006,

manufacturers have adapted their products in line

with Excellent-grade proportions – leading to both

positive and negative outcomes.

As the GIA itself notes on its website, “A diamond’s

proportions can help predict how well a diamond

will deliver brightness, fire and scintillation.

"However, an important outcome of GIA’s cut

research was the finding that there is no single

set of proportions that defines a well-cut round

brilliant diamond.”

On the positive side, Shah has observed an

overall increase in diamond cut quality, in part

due to increased education, awareness, and

demand from the jewellery market for stones

that fit the standardised cut grades – alongside

improvements in diamond-cutting technology.

“Worldwide, Excellent cut stones are becoming

more popular, so manufacturers are producing

more goods to fit that standard.

"Due to the latest machinery innovations,

manufacturers now also have better results from

the rough, so there are, overall, better stones

coming to market,” he explains.

“Usually, if a jeweller asks for an Excellent cut

round diamond certified by major laboratories such

as the GIA, IGI, HRD Antwerp, or the Australian

labs, they will get a nice cut stone,” Shah adds.

However, while this standardisation and wide adoption

of the GIA standards allows for easier comparison

between stones, the system is not perfect.

Abraham Tok, director Tok Bros, says, “The

54 | September 2021

t h e C o l o u r e d d i A m o n d S p e C i A l i S t S - A u S t r A l i A n o W n e d A n d o p e r At e d

f A m i ly b u S i n e S S W o r k i n g W i t h A u S t r A l i A n j e W e l l e r S f o r o v e r 2 5 y e A r S .

W e A r e h e r e t o S u p p o r t y o u r S m A l l b u S i n e S S e S - l e t u S k n o W W h At W e

C A n d o t o h e l p .

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

3/105 St georgeS t C e, perth WA 6000 | 08 9481 0526 | |

Making the Cut | DIAMOND FEATURE

Asprey cut

Bez Ambar

Blaze Solo cut

Above: Buddha Cut diamond set

in pendant. Left: Loose Buddha

Cut diamond

current GIA cut grade standard is acceptable as it has

provided a standardised format for objectively comparing

one diamond’s cut grade to another, however, it can be

improved by tightening the parameters that constitute an

Excellent cut grade,” he says.

Holloway points out that the standards are also not

necessarily enforced by grading laboratories.

“More than 10 per cent of GIA-graded Excellent cut

diamonds are deeper than 63 per cent, and the GIA

teaches that 62.9 per cent is the maximum allowable

depth percentage,” he says.

“When queried on this, the GIA explains that [its

proprietary cut-assessment software program] Facetware

adds the crown height, girdle thickness and pavilion depth

percentages to arrive at depth percentage. So, clever

cutters have developed workarounds – and GIA allows it!”

There are still persistent

misconceptions when it comes

to avoiding poorly-cut stones,

particularly when searching for

niche products such as fancy

shapes, or purchasing fancycolour


Indeed, Tok has observed that “Excellent-grade round

brilliant cut diamonds have changed over the past few

years in that there has been a reduction in the diameter of

particular sizes”.

“A 1-carat round with an Excellent cut grade usually would

have a diameter of 6.4mm–6.5mm, while a 1.50-carat

would have a diameter of 7.4mm–7.5mm; now, you can

find plenty of examples of 1-carat and 1.50-carat round

diamonds, certified XXX by GIA, with diameters under

6.3mm and 7.3mm, respectively.

Maulin Shah

World Shiner

"With fancy shapes, it comes

down to the dealer. A diamond

dealer with a solid reputation,

extensive experience, and

a loyal existing customer

base will be able to give good

advice on fancy shapes."

John Chapman

Delta Diamond Laboratory

and Gemetrix

"Different polishers have

their own ‘recipes’ for extracting

the most colour and some

make a livelihood out

of recutting diamonds to

achieve a more valuable

colour grade."

Abraham Tok

Tok Bros

"Excellent-grade round

brilliant cut diamonds have

changed over the past few

years in that there has been

a reduction in the diameter of

particular sizes... The

end result is a 'lumpier' or

'fatter' stone."

“The end result is a ‘lumpier’ or ‘fatter’ stone that has

higher crown angles, increased depth percentages and

thicker girdles. The extra weight to push the diamond into

the [more valuable] 1-carat and 1.50-carat size ranges is

hidden in these proportions in order to extract more value/

yield from the rough diamond.”

He adds, “This generally has a negative impact on the

appearance of the diamond for jewellers as it is visually

smaller when compared side-by-side with a diamond

that was cut to the original Excellent parameters;

0.1mm–0.2mm may not sound like much as an overall

measurement, however, when comparing diamonds this

is a significant difference that is easily noticeable to the

trained eye.”

Holloway points out a further problem of transparency

being included in the clarity grade rather than the cut

grade, meaning “a diamond can have an Excellent cut

grade – or even top performance with my Holloway Cut

Advisor – but it can still be as dull as dishwater.”

“In theory, a black diamond could receive a XXX cut grade,”

he adds, explaining that the GIA's and other laboratory's

jargon can result in confusion for both jewellery retailers

and consumers alike.

“The worst is 'Clarity grade is based on clouds not show'

which means the clouds are not plotted on the clarity image

on a full certificate,” Holloway adds.

Exceptions and misconceptions

With the rise of custom jewellery design – particularly for

engagement rings – fancy shapes such as marquise, kite,

and heart are becoming increasingly popular.

Yet none receive a standardised cut grade on a certificate,

whether graded by the GIA or another laboratory, in the

same way as a round brilliant. Even classic shapes like

cushion, pear, and oval do not receive a full cut grade.

Says Holloway, “Simply put, most jewellers have no idea

that the GIA does not grade cut proportions for any fancyshaped


56 | September 2021



The history of diamond cutting is a long one. In the mid-14th

Century, the octahedral facets of rough stones would be

polished to create the simple ‘Point cut’; a century later, the

Table cut was created by splitting the octahedral crystal in half.



Later, the Rose cut – introduced to Europe in approximately 1530 –

began to gain popularity. With 24 facets, the cut was prized for its

soft, diffused light.

In the 17th Century, French-Italian Cardinal Jules Mazarin invented

his namesake cut – perhaps the first true precursor to the modern

brilliant cut – with 17 crown facets. The Mazarin cut was later

improved by Venetian polisher Vincent Peruzzi, who nearly doubled

the number of crown facets for his Peruzzi cut.

By the late 1800s, the South African diamond rush had well and

truly begun, and demand for more efficient diamond cutting

techniques increased. The industry was revolutionised by steamdriven

bruting machines and motorised saws, which enabled

faster and more precise cutting – leading to the development of the

Old European cut, with 58 facets.

Previously, diamonds were laboriously cleaved by hand and

polished using diamond dust.

Coster Diamonds, in the Netherlands, claims to have been the first

polishing house to use steam-powered cutting machines, in 1840.

Old Mine cut diamonds emerged around this time, featuring 58

facets – similar to the modern round brilliant, but with a chunkier

and more geometric look.

In the 1870s, master cutter Henry D Morse developed what is

known as the Transition cut or American cut. Trained in the

Netherlands, Morse established the first diamond cutting factory

in the US, where several technological breakthroughs took place.

Notably, Morse profoundly shifted his focus away from maintaining

the weight of the rough towards creating the most beautiful result,

with lower main angles, smaller tables and symmetrical facets.

Indicative of his skill, Morse was trusted to cut the largest stone

found in the US in the 19th Century, the Dewey Diamond.

Perhaps the most significant breakthrough in diamond cutting

came in 1919, when engineer Marcel Tolkowsky – born to a family

of diamantaires – developed the modern round brilliant cut, also

known as the American Ideal cut or Tolkowsky cut.

Tolkowsky’s formula maximised light return based on

mathematical principles, and provided a framework by which the

vast majority of the world’s diamonds are still cut today.

The 20th Century would give rise to many other notable diamond

shapes and cuts; the modern Oval cut, developed by Tolkowsky’s

cousin Lazare Kaplan, the 66-facet Radiant cut, invented by New

York cutter Henry Grossbard in 1977, and the Princess – a square

diamond with a brilliant cut – in 1979.



The late ’90s and early 2000s saw an influx of proprietary –

either trademarked or patented – diamond cuts, concurrent

with an increasingly crowded and competitive market, and rapid

technological advancements.

In 2018, the GIA established a Proprietary Cut Program and began

issuing reports including branded cut names and descriptions.

Today, more than 90 per cent of the world’s diamonds are cut and

polished in India; approximately three quarters are round brilliants.

Now proudly distributed by

Meanwhile large, premium diamonds and complex shapes are

primarily cut in Antwerp, Israel, and New York.

02 9417 0177 |


Innovative Diamond Cuts & Shapes


Sirius Star Cushion

116 Facets


Sirius Star 88

88 Facets


Padma Round

806 Facets



71 Facets


Sirius Star 100

100 Facets


Sirius Star Octagon

88 Facets


Sirius Star 80

80 Facets


Brilliant 10

71 Facets


Blue Flame

89 Facets



Sirius Star Square

88 Facets



77 Facets




62 Facets


Padma Cushion

88 Facets


Cherry Blossom/Sakura

87 Facets


Lily Cut

77 Facets



61 Facets


Astralis Round Brilliant

89 Facets


Crisscut Cushion

85 Facets



Cupio Cut

73 Facets



49 Facets


This also presents a challenge for diamond suppliers,

with Shah noting, “It is definitely harder for fancy shapes

because none of the labs write the cut grade on the

certificate – they only grade rounds for the cut.

“For those other shapes, the report will mention things

like polish and symmetry, but there won’t be a cut grade.”

Indeed, the greatest selling point of fancy-shaped

diamonds – their unique appearance – makes them

difficult, if not impossible, to standardise.

“Non-round shapes are not guided by nearly as much

specification as round brilliants,” says Chapman.

The key determinants of value for

fancy colour diamonds are the

saturation and vibrancy of that

colour, and the size of the stone;

therefore, cutting and polishing

these diamonds is a delicate

balancing act"

“There are no ‘standard’ proportions – even for cushion

cuts or ovals – against which they can be graded. Though

symmetry and faceting can be graded, each lab offering

such a grade will have its own criteria for what constitutes

good or poor symmetry.”

Adds Tok, “The appeal of fancy shapes is subjective.

Different customers prefer different proportions in

their fancy shapes; for example, some customers

prefer pear shapes to be longer and some prefer oval

shapes to be rounder.”

When it comes to sourcing fancy shapes, Shah advises

jewellers to place their trust in a respected diamond supplier.

“With fancy shapes, it comes down to the dealer. A

diamond dealer with a solid reputation, extensive


In Summary

First priority

Cut is the most important

of the 'four Cs', with

the most influence

over a diamond's final

appearance, including

its colour, clarity, carat

weight, and brilliance

Changing rules

Fancy shapes and

colours are cut and

graded differently to

round brilliants, which

can present challenges

Knowledge is


Education on Excellent

and Ideal cut parameters

and relevant diamond

assessment tools can

assist in both avoiding

poorly-cut diamonds and

making sales in-store

A matter of trust

A respected diamond

supplier with extensive

product knowledge

is essential when

sourcing well-cut stones,

particularly fancy colours

and shapes

experience, and a loyal existing customer base will be able

to give good advice on fancy shapes.

“They will have the knowledge of stone ratios and be able to

make suggestions and offer a selection, and a replacement

stone if the customer is not happy.”

Holloway suggests jewellers learn to use the ASET,

which he developed for the AGS, to assess fancy shaped

diamonds for light ‘leakage’ themselves.

Further complicating the question of cut are fancy

colour diamonds.

“Cuts for fancy colours are in a different class than

colourless diamonds,” says Chapman.

“The objective of the light within the stone is quite different

between the two types. For colourless diamonds, the

‘pathlength’ of light within a stone is minimised, whereas

for coloured diamonds, the art – or rather science – is to

maximise the pathlength to deepen the colour.”

Simply put, the deeper the pavilion, the farther light can

travel within the diamond, which can create a richer and

more intense colour.

The key determinants of value for fancy colour diamonds

are the saturation and vibrancy of that colour, and the

size of the stone; therefore, cutting and polishing these

diamonds is a delicate balancing act.

Typically, mixed cuts such as the Radiant are preferred

as they intensify colour; this is particularly evident in

diamonds toward the end of the classic D to Z colour

grading scale, which, when cut appropriately, can be

transformed into more valuable fancy yellows.

Says Chapman, “Different polishers have their own

‘recipes’ for extracting the most colour and some make

a livelihood out of recutting diamonds to achieve a more

valuable colour grade.”

Avoiding the traps

As in most areas of the jewellery trade, education is key

for jewellers in sourcing quality material; it is also a useful

58 | September 2021

DIAMOND FEATURE | Making the Cut

Top: Loose Alphabet

Cut diamonds by Kunming

Diamonds. Above: Alphabet

Cut diamonds set in necklace

by K Kane Jewellery

sales tool when discussing diamonds with customers. “Jewellers

should educate themselves on the ideal parameters and use that

knowledge to help their customers find great diamonds,” says Tok.

Chapman echoes this observation; “Most consumers are, quite

reasonably, not versed in what is a good cut and what to look for

to assess brilliance and fire, so some retailers have come to their

rescue with tools to help them,” he says.

Whether a proprietary cut, fancy shape,

fancy colour, or classic round brilliant,

there is no overstating the importance

of understanding a diamond’s cut and

the impact it has on the overall beauty

and appeal of a stone"

“An IdealScope allows a view of the behaviour of light in a diamond

from its refractions and reflections, and there are other fancier

tools that show light leakage and brilliance with moving light

stages, computer processing and graphic outputs of a stone’s light


“Several gem labs show these diagrams on their reports with areas

of red, green and blue denoting how the light is behaving.”

Eidukevicius-Jones advocates a hands-on approach: “Look at the

diamond and move it around even before you pick up a loupe. First

impressions last!” she says.

Whether a proprietary cut, fancy shape, fancy colour, or classic

round brilliant, there is no overstating the importance of

understanding a diamond’s cut and the impact it has on the

overall beauty and appeal of a stone.

In order to deliver the best possible service, jewellers must both

educate themselves and cultivate relationships with knowledgeable,

reliable diamond suppliers in order to procure stones with

outstanding sparkle – the stones with which consumers can’t help

but fall in love.

Packamate Limited

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Tel. +852 2603 1173 or 8121 1751

One-stop shop packaging component supply and solution

Packamate Limited is a well-established manufacturer

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Who dazzled with this

aquamarine ring?

Turn to page 70 to find out.



Forest, sea & sky

Jeweller discovers the chemical and structural causes

of colour in captivating natural blue and green

gemstones, from Ceylon sapphires to imperial jade.





Dive into gem trivia


Every hue of green and blue


This month’s colours dazzle










Greek sappheiros, meaning blue stone


1.76 - 1.78


Blue, green, and teal (among others)


8 Popular

Blue &



Tsavorite garnet







Garnet (Grossular)

Named after Tsavo National Park


1.71 - 1.89

















Paraìba Tourmaline








Ancient Greek smaragdos, meaning

green gemstone

7.5 - 8

1.56 - 1.58

Oiling and other fracture filling

Bluish green to green


Latin aqua marina, meaning

water of the sea

7.5 - 8

1.57- 1.58


Light blue-green to light blue


Named after Paraìba State

7 - 7.5

1.61 - 1.67


'Neon' vivid blue-green



• Apatite

• Blue Zircon

• Blue Spinel

• Chrysoprase

• Green Tourmaline


• Demantoid Garnet

• Lapis Lazuli

• Turquoise























Unknown but believed to be Anglo–

Norman pedoretés, a type of opal

6.5 - 7

1.65 - 1.69


Olive to yellowish green and pure green

Jadeite and Nephrite (silicates)

From Spanish piedra de ijada,

meaning stone of the side

6.5 - 7 and 6 - 6.5

1.67 - 1.68 and 1.61 - 1.68

Bleach, wax, dye, and polymer

Varied, notably pale to deep green


Named after Tanzania

6 - 6.5

1.69 - 1.70


Violet blue



In Depth

Green Tourmaline





Sri Lanka



Blue Topaz










Myanmar (Burma)



Saudi Arabia

South Africa

Sri Lanka



Tsavorite Garnet























OCEAN • Emerald

• Sapphire


• Green Tourmaline

• Blue Topaz

• Peridot

• Tsavorite Garnet

• Emerald

• Aquamarine

• Jade




• Paraìba Tourmaline

• Green Tourmaline

• Aquamarine

• Peridot

• Jade

• Blue Topaz






• Tanzanite

• Tsavorite garnet

• Sapphire

• Peridot

• Blue spinel

• Jade

Sri Lanka



• Sapphire

• Peridot

• Green Tourmaline

• Blue Spinel

• Jade






Demantoid Garnet










Myanmar (Burma)

Sri Lanka



Blue Spinel


Myanmar (Burma)

Sri Lanka




Blue Zircon














New Zealand

Sri Lanka




The world's most

famous sapphire

engagement ring – belonging to

Diana, Princess of Wales – was not a

custom-make, but rather chosen by her

from the Garrard jewellery catalogue

“These gems

have life in

them; their


speak – say

what words

fail of.”


At least 50% of the world's

Emerald is sourced from Colombia

The most famous

collection of peridot

jewellery is the Habsburg

Peridot Parure, which

was created by imperial

jeweller Köchert in 1825

Ancient Egyptian priests

would grind peridot and

mix it into drinks, which

they believed would give

them mystical powers

and knowledge

$AU6.5 million

Price paid for Elizabeth Taylor’s

emerald Bulgari brooch

Love is an emerald.

Its brilliant light wards

off dragons on this

treacherous path."


In the Middle Ages,

Europeans believed

sapphires could

cure eye diseases







collection was

likely peridot

Lapis lazuli beads and

artefacts have been found in

many ancient civilisations,

dating to the Neolithic age


The weight of the Bahia Emerald,

which contains the largest single

emerald shard ever found; it is hidden

in a secret vault in Los Angeles

62 | September 2021


Colour Investigation


Every hue of green and blue

Jeweller discovers the chemical and structural causes of colour in captivating natural blue and green

gemstones, from Ceylon sapphires to imperial jade.

Rich blue Ceylonese gemstones are the most wellknown

and valuable variety of sapphire, and the

standard against which other blue gems are measured.

However, paler versions are still in high demand and

the teal hue – a mix of blue and green – has also soared

in popularity in recent years, with premium specimens

sourced from Australia, Nigeria, and Montana in the US.

Sapphire is corundum; an allochromatic mineral that

derives colour from chemical impurities in the crystal

structure. These impurities absorb specific parts of the

light spectrum, and the remaining light reflected to the

eye gives colour to the gemstone.

Blue is caused by traces of titanium and iron; the more

iron present, the darker the stone. Green sapphires also

owe their colour to iron.

Sapphires are often heat-treated to remove silk

inclusions, thus enhancing clarity and richness of colour.

Like sapphire, the vibrant colour of emerald – a form of

beryl – has been adored from ancient times.

Created by trace impurities of chromium and vanadium,

the intense green colour is the most prized. The price

drops when accompanied by a bluish tinge, and continues

to devalue further when coloured a yellowish tinge from

iron impurities.

When the colour of beryl is too light to be called emerald,

it is termed ‘green beryl’.

Colombia remains the major source of emeralds,

retaining the best reputation and usually commanding a

price premium.

However, emeralds can be sourced from many parts of




Sarah Ho




of the


mined in Sri

Lanka are



location where


is found



value of the



exports in

2020 ($US)

the world, including Russia (the Urals have produced

emeralds for more than 100 years), Zambia,

Brazil, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Ethiopia; some

emeralds from these mines will rival the best

Colombian emeralds.

Emeralds typically have many inclusions; the French say

they have a jardin (garden) inside them. The inclusions

also make emeralds a more brittle gemstone, often

confused with it being soft.

To help improve their clarity and colour, emeralds are

treated in several ways. They are usually “oiled” at the

mines – a process that uses oil to fill the cracks and

inclusion spaces in a technique practised for centuries.

Aquamarine is another variety of beryl, and owes its

delicate blue-green palette to ferrous iron.

Loved for its icy sky-blues and cool sea greens, its name

originated from the Latin aqua marina, meaning ‘water

of the sea’.

Available in large, eye-clean gemstones, aquamarine’s

colour and higher carat weights has made it popular,

although deeper shades command a higher price. Most

commercially-available aquamarines are heat-treated

to remove yellow tones and produce a more desirable

blue hue.

Maxixe beryl is the name given to blue beryl with a very

dark tone that is almost unnatural, unlike the softer

blues of aquamarine.

The colour is known to fade from deep blue to a

yellowish tone in sunlight and strong artificial light or

heat in a reasonably short time.

The maxixe beryl’s colour is caused by a nitrate trace

September 2021 | 63

Colour Investigation | BLUE & GREEN GEMSTONES













Anakie Fields

New England Fields

Australian sapphires originated as a

result of volcanic eruptions that date back

millions of years.

Discovered as crystal formations in

ancient riverbeds left behind by creeks and

streams, sapphire deposits were found to be

concentrated in alluvial gravels, colloquially

referred to as 'wash'.

Today, most of these gems are found in the

New England Fields in northern NSW and

the Anakie Fields in central Queensland,

which are the two major sources of

sapphires in Australia.

Sapphires are a form of corundum with

a chemical formula of Al 2

O 3

– aluminium



word 'sapphire'

is derived from


which means 'blue

stone' in Greek. However,

despite the common belief that sapphires

only come in a blue colour, that could not be

further from the truth.

All sapphires are allochromatic, which means

they receive their colour from impurities

within the crystal structure. Depending on the

trace amounts of iron, titanium and nickel,

and other elements, sapphires can attain a

range of different colours.


Corundum is a material known for its high

density, which makes sapphires among the

hardest natural minerals in the world, ranking

9 out of 10 on Mohs' hardness scale,

second only to diamonds.

Australian sapphires are particularly known

for deep blue, green, yellow and parti-colour

specimens combining blue, yellow and green.

Source: SAMS Group Australia













03 9654 4449

Level 4, Wales Corner

227 Collins Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

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

P +61 2 8065 8533 E


compound. Some maxixe-type beryl is also on the market with

colour resulting from a carbonate trace compound.

Demantoid, tsavorite and tanzanite

Another gemstone of many colours is garnet, and the standout

in the andradite branch of garnet is vibrant green demantoid.

With dispersion greater than diamond and a striking, rich green,

hue demantoid is one of the most valuable garnets.

Originally sourced from Russia, much of today’s demantoid

comes from Namibia.

Grossular garnet is found in a range of colours including yellow,

grey, colourless and green; indeed grossular gets its name

from the Latin word for gooseberry, the light green variety being

similar in colour to the fruit.

Annoushka x Fuli Gemstones

Aquamarine is another variety of beryl,

and owes its delicate blue-green palette

to ferrous iron. Loved for its icy skyblues

and cool sea greens, its name

originated from the Latin aqua marina,

meaning ‘water of the sea’”

The most sought after grossular garnet is the rich green

variety called tsavorite. Almost, but not quite emerald green,

tsavorite was discovered by geologist Campbell Bridges in

Tanzania in 1967.

He found another source in 1970, near Kenya’s Tsavo National

Park. Bridges and former Tiffany & Co. president Henry B Platt

named tsavorite after its Kenyan source.

On first viewing the gem, Platt observed, “Tsavorite is everything

a fine gemstone should be, and then some.”

Like tsavorite, tanzanite was also discovered in Tanzania

in 1967.

According to legend, a large bush fire swept the foot of Mount

Kilimanjaro, transforming the dull, greyish-brown material into

glittering blue and violet crystals, which not only caught the

eyes of Masai tribesmen but also the imagination of the world’s

most-prestigious jewellery houses.

This bushfire myth perfectly illustrates the chameleon-like

change that occurs when tanzanite crystals are heated to

approximately 400°C – the undesirable yellow and brown tints

disappear and the purple and blue tints deepen, resulting in

transparent, vividly-coloured material.

Tanzanite is a gem variety of the mineral zoisite, a calcium

aluminium silicate. Zoisite may be green, pink, grey, colourless

or brown in its untreated form.

Tanzanite’s unique formation has a million-to-one chance of

occurring outside the areas where it is known to be found,

making it significantly rarer than diamond and asserting its

reputation as a truly exotic gemstone.

Originally, tanzanite was confused with Kashmir sapphire and

even amethyst, due to its exquisite mix of velvety blue and

purple hues.


David Morris






+61 413 872 810




Colour Investigation | BLUE & GREEN GEMSTONES

L to R: Van Cleef & Arpels; Sarah Ho; Bulgari; Sapphire Dreams

Intense blue tanzanite in large sizes is rare and more expensive

than purple because the rough does not provide as high a yield.

Indicolite, verdelite and Paraìba tourmaline

While the red hues of rubellite tourmaline maintain a steady

appreciation, the interest and value of blue and green tourmaline

was reignited with the discovery of Paraìba tourmaline.

Tourmalines showing unusually striking ‘neon’ colours of blue,

green-blue, green and violet first appeared in the jewellery trade

in 1989, when a single deposit was unearthed near the Brazilian

village of Sao Jose de Batalha in north-central Paraìba State.

The gems came to be known as Paraìba tourmalines. Such

tourmalines are rare, and exhibit a vivid blue and startling glow

incomparable to any other gem.

Although uncommon in sizes over 2 carats, these majestic

gemstones are always in high demand, attracting extraordinary

prices not seen with any other tourmaline variety. Interestingly, the

trace element responsible for these exciting colours is copper.

In some cases, the concentration is so high that small inclusions

of pure native copper can be found.

While copper is a contributing colouring agent in many other

minerals such as turquoise and malachite, it had not been known to

colour tourmaline until the discovery of Paraìba tourmaline.

Typically, iron and chromium induce the blue and

green in other coloured tourmaline varieties.

Mined by hand in the copper-rich

mountains of Mozambique and Nigeria

are Paraìba-type’ tourmalines.




Almost identical in chemistry and

colour saturation to their Brazilian

counterparts, these gems emerged

into the market in the early 2000s

with large stones, some over

5 carats.

However, some argue the quality

and richness of colour of the authentic

Brazilian stones are incomparable.

Harry Winston

Blue is caused

by traces of

titanium and

iron... Green

sapphires also

owe their colour

to iron”

Sapphire Dreams




Exclusive Australian suppliers of

.935 Sterling Silver Chains

In contrast to Paraìba tourmaline, the other cool-hued varieties

are more readily available and at less extravagant prices.

These gems flaunt trade names such as ‘indicolite’, the name

given to a range of blue tourmalines, and ‘verdelite’, the name

given to a range of green tourmalines.

Both named varieties are often tinged with blue, green or violet

offering a broad spectrum of colours in varying saturations.

Blue tourmalines range from pale icy blue to deep and dark

saturated navy blues. Stones that exhibit a dominant blue hue

generally attract a higher value.

Some stones are labelled indicolite even when the green

predominates, so buyers should value a stone based on its

colour rather than its trade name.

Tourmalines showing unusually

striking ‘neon’ colours of blue, greenblue,

green and violet first appeared in

the jewellery trade in 1989”

Tourmaline’s other varying greens offer a pleasing alternative to

the grass green of peridot and the deep, rich green of emerald,

the other industry ‘heavyweights’.

These include pastel hues, blue-green ‘teal’ varieties and a

rare vivid green referred to as ‘chrome dravite’ – coloured by

vanadium, chromium and sometimes both.

Peridot and lapis lazuli

Peridot is the gem-quality variety of olivine and its colour ranges

from green, greenish-yellow, yellowish-green, greenish-brown

and brown, depending on its chemical composition.

Pure green gemstones are rare and most peridot exhibit a

yellowish undertone.

The intensity of peridot’s green hue is determined by the varying

amount of iron in its composition; iron influences a yellowbrown

tone within the gemstone while traces of chromium and

nickel – replacing iron and magnesium – are said to give peridot

a bright-green colour.

Ph: +61 3 9587 1215


Colour Investigation | BLUE & GREEN GEMSTONES

L to R: Graff, Gucci, Neha Dani, Van Cleef & Arpels

Intriguingly, pallasites are one kind of stony-iron

meteorite that contain abundant crystalline olivine,

sometimes of gem-quality peridot – making it an ‘extraterrestrial’


The crystals are generally small and, due to the high

iron content of the surrounding iron-nickel matrix, are

typically yellowy-brown in colour.

The lustrous texture and luminous

colours of polished jade have been

prized for thousands of years.

Ancient cultures in North, Central

and South America, New Zealand,

Asia and Europe valued jade for its

beauty, hardness and durability”

Some pallasitic peridot specimens are higher in carat

weight and present an attractive green colour favourable

for faceted gemstones.

The finest examples of peridot are unearthed in Myanmar

(Burma) and Pakistan, with the US state Arizona and

China producing more reliable commercial quantities;

they are also found in Australia, Vietnam, and some

African nations.

Admired since the dawn of civilisation, early records

indicate the Ancient Egyptians mined a beautiful green

gemstone from the island in the Red Sea called Topazios.

The island, now known as St John’s Island, or Zabargad,

remains to this day the oldest and longest-known source

of gem-quality peridot.

Another gemstone prized in the ancient world is lapis

lazuli, often shortened to lapis, which gained its name

from Latin and Persian origins – lazhuward meaning

‘blue’ in Persian and lapis meaning ‘stone’ in Latin.



Tanzanite was

discovered in

1967; legend has

it, a bushfire near

Mount Kilimanjaro

heated natural

crystals, giving them

tanzanite's signature

purple-blue hue

Tanzania is the only

known source of this

gemstone, with mines

located in a 14km

square radius

The largest-ever rough

tanzanite was found

in June 2020 and

weighed 9.2kg

The gem has been highly prized for thousands of

years, being used in jewellery, carvings, seals and

decorative items.

Lapis lazuli is an aggregate comprised primarily of

lazurite, calcite and pyrite. Quality lapis consists mainly

of lazurite – which gives the gem its intense blue colour

– with small amounts of white calcite and pyrite.

It is the metallic flash of pyrite against the deep blue

of lazurite that makes it so attractive to gem collectors

and jewellery artists.

Under a microscope, lapis lazuli looks like the night

sky – with depths of blue lazurite, a fine white haze of

calcite and the starlike sparkle of pyrite.

Lapis ranges in colour from greenish blue to rich royal

blue and violet blue. The most prized – and valuable

– is an intense royal blue featuring minute gold flashes

of pyrite.

Afghanistan is considered the most significant source

of quality lapis. The gem has been mined there for

thousands of years in a remote and inhospitable region,

known historically as Bactria.

Today, other sources are Lake Baikal in Siberia, Chile,

Angola, Pakistan, Canada and Colorado in the US.

Jadeite and nephrite

The lustrous texture and luminous colours of polished

jade have been prized for thousands of years.

Ancient cultures in North, Central and South America,

New Zealand, Asia and Europe valued jade for its

beauty, hardness and durability – properties that made

it suitable for use in implements, jewellery, regalia and

decorative items.

Wearers believed jade endowed them with long life,

good health and fortune, and today jade jewellery still

has strong traditional associations in many cultures.

The name ‘jade’ is the commercial term used for jadeite

68 | September 2021

Jewellery Theatre

Early records


the Ancient


mined a

beautiful green


and nephrite. Despite their similar appearance, these minerals

have distinct gemmological properties.

Both are silicates; jadeite is a sodium and aluminium silicate,

while nephrite is a calcium and magnesium silicate. Both are

polycrystalline in structure, with many interlocking microscopic

crystals, making them some of the toughest materials in the

gem world.

So, what is the difference between the two?

Typically, the name jadeite is associated with a rich deep green

colour, but the gem is found in many hues and is often mottled. The

richer and more even the colour, the higher the value.

In China, jadeite of fine green colour and translucency was once

reserved for the Emperor’s court and is known as ‘imperial jade’.

The presence of iron creates the green hue.

Jadeite has a hardness of 6.5-7 on Mohs’ scale, making it suitable

for use in a range of jewellery. However, it is the gem’s tenacity and

capacity to be carved and fashioned, along with its vitreous lustre,

that makes it attractive to jewellers and gem carvers.

With a hardness of 6–6.5 on Mohs’ scale, nephrite is a little softer

than jadeite, which has a hardness of 6.5–7. However, it has a higher

tenacity and is regarded as the ‘toughest’ of gems.

This property of toughness makes it suitable not only in a range of

jewellery, but also for use in gem carvings and decorative items.

Nephrite that is translucent with a solid green colour is the most

valuable. Mottling of colour or the presence of dark mineral

inclusions lessens the gem’s value.

Nephrite is a more common mineral than jadeite, and its major

sources are New Zealand, Mexico, Peru, British Columbia and

Taiwan. It is the official state mineral of Wyoming.

To the Maori of New Zealand, nephrite – called pounamu or

greenstone – is an important gemstone found on the South Island

around Otago.

It has great cultural significance, used not only for adornments but

also for practical uses, including making tools and weapons.


Elegance added with personality. Designs for him and

her. Innovative timepiece with premium quality.

P 02 9290 2199 E


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.

4 More than 50 carats

of intricately carved jade

takes centre stage in the

Naila earrings by jewellery

designer Narcisa Pheres,

accented with delicate

pear-cut emeralds and white

diamonds and set in 18-carat

yellow gold.

Harry Winston

Narcisa Pheres

SAPPHIRE – Zoey Deutch,

Golden Globes 2020

JADE AND EMERALD – Kelly Rowland,

Spotify Secret Genius Awards 2018

Lorraine Schwartz


Van Cleef & Arpels

Tiffany & Co.

EMERALD – Kendall Jenner, Vanity Fair

Oscars Party 2018

EMERALD – Esther Expósito, Cannes

Film Festival 2021


Robbie, Academy Awards 2015


Academy Awards 2016

4 Part of the Gucci

High Jewellery Hortus

Deliciarum Collection,

these white gold earrings

set with diamond and

tsavorite garnet are

inspired by the natural

world, and feature

Gucci's signature lion's

head motif.

Tiffany & Co.


AQUAMARINE – Jessica Biel, Academy

Awards 2014


Smith, Cannes Film Festival 2021

70 | September 2021

Tiffany & Co.

AQUAMARINE – Gal Gadot, Academy

Awards 2018

4 Combining carved

emeralds and cabochon rubies

with sapphire beads and white

diamonds, these statement

chandelier earrings hail from

Cartier’s iconic Tutti Frutti


3Taking its cues from

Tiffany & Co. jewellery of

the Art Deco era, this lariat

chain necklace – designed

by Reed Krakoff – comes

from the jewellery house's

2018 Blue Book Collection.

It features show-stopping

icy aquamarines, offset by

pavé white diamonds and


Arbe – Family owned,

American know how.

For decades Arbe has been

manufacturing Industry trusted

machinery built to stand the

test of time. Products including

polishing units, casting equipment,

electroplating equipment, magnetic

polishers, lights…..and extensive

range of other products assisting in

the manufacturing process.

Arbe’s quality so renowned their

machines are manufactured for

other industry brands, if you can’t

beat them, join them.



Brosnahan, amfAR Gala 2021

3 Nestled amongst


sapphires and white

diamonds, opulent

white opals meet

27 carats of Paraìba

tourmaline in this

18-carat white gold cuff

from the Chopard Red

Carpet Collection.

Sole distribution rights for Australia,

New Zealand and Pacific.



Cannes Film Festival 2021

Contact us at

or call Craig - 0408 882 978 or

Steve - 0408 864 640


Stars shine in colour | GEMSTONES IN THE SPOTLIGHT

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

4 These show-stopping

teardrop earrings by US

designer Irene Neuwirth

feature stunning faceted

lapis lazuli and onyx set

in white gold, accented

with rose-cut white

diamonds and

diamond pavé.

Sylvia & Cie

Irene Neuwirth

JADE – Jennifer Lawrence, BAFTA

Awards 2018

LAPIS LAZULI – Anna Gunn, SAG Awards


Tiffany & Co.

Lorraine Schwartz

Fernando Jorge

Jared Lehr

AQUAMARINE – Kim Kardashian, Tiffany

& Co. Event 2018

TURQUOISE – Sofìa Vergara, Golden

Globes 2014

JADE – Emilia Clarke, Emmy Awards 2018

PERIDOT – Nikki Reed, Elton John

Oscars Viewing Party 2019

4 Aquamarine is the star

of the show in this jewellery

suite by Chopard, mixing

chandelier earrings from the

High Jewellery Collection

with a cocktail ring from the

Temptations Collection. The

earrings feature 30.96 carats of

pear-shape aquamarines set

in blue titanium, while the ring

is set with a 5.11-carat pearshaped

aquamarine accented

with tanzanite, amethyst, and


Harry Winston


SAPPHIRE – Helen Mirren, Academy

Awards 2018


Blunt, Academy Awards 2018

72 | September 2021

The Blush Pink range is an epitome

of charm and opulence intertwined

together. Delicate and utterly

elegant, it features affordable styles

that retain an exquisite sense of

rare luxury.



Golden Globes 2020


SAPPHIRE – Tina Fey, Academy

Awards 2016

5 From the Bulgari High

Jewellery Collection, this

Art Deco-inspired necklace

features nine cushion-cut

Sri Lankan sapphires paired

with 18 marquise diamonds,

round brilliant-cut diamonds,

trapezoidal and pavé diamonds,

set in platinum.


EMERALD – Julianne Moore, Cannes Film

Festival 2019

David Webb

JADE – Naomie Harris, 'Rampage'

Premiere 2018

E W P 02 9290 2199



What customers want next:

Decoding the clues

JEANNIE WALTERS offers strategies for businesses as they adapt for the future

retail environment – and rapidly shifting consumer behaviour.

Human behaviour is notoriously difficult

to predict; sophisticated modelling and

data analysis can help, but these are

typically based on past behaviour.

Past behaviour might be helpful for

predicting future success if all variables

remain the same, but what if the context

– or the entire environment – changes

over time?

In one study by analytics firm Concentric,

99 per cent of business leaders reported

doing some kind of forecasting, yet only

14 per cent stated they were “effective”

at doing so.

It’s the secret everyone knows – predicting

the future is hard.

Many organisations and businesses are

benefiting from machine learning and

artificial intelligence tools to isolate data

points that can help predict the next

actions of customers, as well as the

likelihood of desired outcomes.

But like any form of analysis, these

methodologies rely on good data – and

many businesses are still ‘playing catch

up’ on getting the inputs right.

So, what can a business leader do

to look ahead and predict future

customer behaviour?

Searching for clues

The first step in predicting customer

behaviour is a simple one – know your

customers and their goals.

Business owners and leaders are regularly

told to improve customer experience in

order to increase sales, but with little

instruction or information on how to do so.

There is no data, there is no defined

goal, and in some cases, there is no

shared understanding of what ‘customer

experience’ is!

Therefore, it’s important to start with

the foundations.

Firstly find out what you can about your

customers. If you have data, such as

purchasing history, use it; if you don’t,

collect whatever feedback you can from

social media and product reviews.

Next, consider your customers’ lives; don’t

get stuck in the ‘our customers only care

about our product’ fantasy!

Too often, I

see business

owners and

leaders struggle

with predictions


they create a

universe where

the customer

has one goal

– to use the



To look for clues about how customers may

behave in the future, it’s vital to understand

their present reality.

That means looking beyond basic

demographics or job titles to knowing how

they get their information, the needs their

community has, and other brands to which

they are loyal.

What about their stage of life? Are they

dealing with school schedules or planning

for retirement?

Keep in mind the life they’ve led most

recently; the pandemic created a different

daily routine for most people.

Observe broader trends

Almost without exception, most business

owners and leaders tell me their industry is

unique, but there are absolutely trends that

apply across almost every industry.

For example, a very significant customer

experience trend for the future, across the

market, is a focus on health and safety.

Business owners must look for the trends

and then plan around them.

74 | September 2021

Business Strategy

Don’t automatically ignore something

because it doesn’t immediately apply to

your industry – eventually, it might!

Another trend is people relocating from

cities to suburbs and regional areas during

the pandemic.

Remote working allowed for this flexibility

and people shifted their lives in order to

accommodate more space and desirable

outdoor living.

What does that mean for your business? It

could mean a lot in terms of store location,

delivery expectations, and even the product

selection on offer.

Too often, I see business owners and

leaders struggle with predictions

because they create a universe where

the customer has one goal – to use the

company’s product.

That’s not how people work, and the

more you can truly pay attention to their

overall environment, the more successful

you’ll be in finding and acting on those

customer clues.

Applying knowledge

Now that you have an idea of the current

consumer environment, what can you do

with these insights?

• Mapping the future customer’s journey

– Who is the customer in one year or

five? What are their needs and

expectations? How can you adapt your

customer journey accordingly?

Journey mapping is an exercise where

a diagram is used to illustrate how a

customer interacts with a business.

The journey starts when the customer

identifies a specific need and progresses

through to researching product options

to meet that need, visiting a bricks-andmortar

or online store, making their

purchase, using the product, seeking

customer service support from the

business, and repeating the purchase.

The way a customer discovers and

purchases from your business in the future

may be very different from how they do

so today; mapping allows you to identify

the areas where you should prioritise

development and investment.

• Fix the future ‘pain points’ – One of

the key elements of customer journey

mapping is identifying ‘pain points’ – the

negative experiences that prevent a

shopper from purchasing or

re-purchasing from a business.

These can include being unable to find the

correct size, an inability to find a suitable

product within budget, or waiting too long

for a response from a business’ customer

service staff.

Compare your current and future

customer journey maps – are there

any existing pain points that could worsen

with time?

For example, more customers are now

comfortable with using their mobile

phone to get information while they’re

shopping in-person, so a store’s slow

Wi-Fi connection could present a barrier

to purchase.

Consider how a customer will use

their device in-store and develop

the environment to support that

new behaviour.

• Invite employee feedback – Employees

have great ideas and often see customer

expectations changing in real time;

they need a way to communicate these

observations and ideas with management.

Customer support staff often hear about

frustrations caused by comparisons to the

competition, such as wait times.

For example, they may say things like,

“Even my car mechanic has a mobile

update system now – why do I have to call

and wait on hold?”

It is important for businesses to be

exposed to all types of feedback, yet

staff may be discouraged from reporting

negative observations.

Keeping your finger on the pulse of change

means looking ahead and getting the

support you need to act quickly.

Don’t ignore the future

Several years ago, IT firm Cisco released

a report about what healthcare providers

and consumers wanted from healthcare.

One of the findings that stood out was the



Dive into data

Collect and use


about your

customers to

understand not

just what, but

how and why

they buy

Consider the

whole picture


broader market

trends and

use journeymapping


identify pain


Act decisively

Turn insights

into action and

make changes

before serious

problems occur

idea that virtual doctor visits – also known

as telehealth – were perfectly acceptable to

many consumers.

The study found that while consumers

still depend heavily on in-person medical

treatments, given a choice between virtual

access to care and human contact, three

quarters said access to care was more

important than physical contact with their

care provider.

Consumers surveyed in the study were

overwhelmingly comfortable with the use of

technology for the clinician interaction.

I read this study in 2013 and thought,

doesn’t this apply to everything?

Everyone is living more frenzied and

complicated lives than ever and while

technology gives us access to services,

it also keeps us tethered to jobs and

obligations like never before.

Therefore, convenience continues to be a

top-ranking driver for customer behaviour

and loyalty. Healthcare is no different, so

why not offer video doctor visits for care

that can be provided in that way?

Yet many healthcare providers ignored this

trend; just think of how many GPs were

still unprepared for the surge in telehealth

consultations in 2020, when the COVID-19

pandemic began!

They were scrambling to set up basic

video connections, and many still required

patients to call their office to schedule

those appointments.

Patients had been asking for that type

of service for nearly a decade, and they

missed or dismissed the clues.

It was – and is – simpler and less expensive

to simply keep doing what’s always been

done, until it isn’t.

Inertia is a powerful force, and it is all

too easy to just let things happen the way

they always have. Leaders look ahead and

consider the clues, then, most importantly,

they act.

JEANNIE WALTERS is founder and

CEO of Experience Investigators. Learn


September 2021 | 75



What is a store without sales?

A strong sales culture should be the first priority of retail business owners, yet many are

lacking this focus – or a plan for improvement, writes JOSH STRUTT.

The secret to a focused, motivated and

goal-orientated retail team is not found

on the sales floor – in fact, it starts in the

back room.

When assessing a retail store’s

performance, there is a tell-tale sign

within this room that reveals the true

focus of the business: clear, obvious sales

targets and sales performance indicators,

as well as customer service scores, are

nowhere to be seen.

Retail is a competitive business – yet

highlighting the performance of sales

staff seems to be an area of question to

some retailers and some do not even set

sales goals.

However, without a goal and clear

objectives, staff are not motivated to

achieve. It's like a sports team; without the

primary objective to win the game, what is

the point in playing in the first place?

‘Fit’ businesses put sales at the centre of

their operations; if senior managers are

not discussing sales in general and with

individual staff, it is unrealistic to think staff

will make sales their number-one priority.

Creating a sales culture

Below are a few key questions to determine

if a store has a ‘fit’ sales culture and

identify areas that could be improved.

As a business owner, do you:

• Have weekly and daily sales targets

displayed in the back room for all staff?

• Employ managers who are passionate

about increasing sales?

• Benchmark key performance indicators

such as items per sale, average spend and

conversion – and measure them?

• Hold daily start-up meetings to

motivate staff, introduce new products and

promotions and allocate targets?

• Measure sales performance by product

category to product against stock holding?

• Have an incentive program that rewards

sales achievements?

Set clear sales targets and ensure all staff work towards them.

• Have a sales education program that is

tailored to your business type?

• Have individual coaching sessions with

staff based on their performance?

• See team member’s individual sales

increasing with their experience and


Hire to win

Another way to determine if you have a

strong sales culture is by asking managers

and staff to anonymously nominate their

top three goals for the business.

If they do not nominate increasing sales as

their number-one goal, it may be time to

introduce further training, conferences, or

new recruitment practices.

As the old adage goes, ‘Recruit the will,

teach the skill.’ Enthusiasm can be

fostered and encouraged, but if your new

staff member isn’t motivated from their

first day, will they be motivated in a year?

Clear, standardised recruitment guidelines

help to create a team that is focused on a

common goal.

It's also a good idea to examine your

business’ turnover rate and the reasons

staff left and when. There is almost always

a common trend, and it may come down to

inconsistent recruitment – that is, hiring

the wrong people.

‘Fit’ businesses

put sales at the

centre of their

operations; if

senior managers

are not

discussing sales

in general and

with individual

staff, it is

unrealistic to

think staff will

make sales their



Additionally, more than 70 per cent of exit

surveys conducted by Retail Doctor Group

(RDG) showed that staff who initiated

leaving did so because they did not feel

engaged with the business.

Engaged employees feel a sense of

purpose, contribution and growth in a

business. RDG research tells us that

engaged, motivated staff deliver an

average 20 per cent higher sales and

margin improvement.

They are also more loyal, have lower

turnover and are more productive.

Education and engagement

Are your sales staff fully confident in

the product range, and the features and

benefits of the products they are selling?

If the answer is not a resounding yes,

more training – such as practicing sales

scenarios at a weekly team meeting and

educating staff on cross- or upselling

strategies – is essential.

Once you introduce new staff, ensure

they have a clear mentor or senior staff

member to guide them, rather than a

direct manager or boss. This ‘go-to person’

should induct the new staff member into

the business’ sales focus.

Match your new employee with someone

with whom they are comfortable asking

questions and expressing their concerns,

and who is able to communicate effectively.

Putting these practices in place not

only fosters a strong sales culture, but

also creates a positive atmosphere of

improvement and connection.

Without both, it is very difficult – if not

impossible – for a business to increase

sales and maintain those improvements.

JOSH STRUTT is Retail Doctor Group’s

strategy analyst. His background is in

maximising operational efficiency to

drive growth. Visit:

76 | September 2021



Is there ever a good way to deliver bad news?

From performance criticism to budget cuts, bad news is a part of business –

but there are ways to mitigate and manage the damage, writes BRI WILLIAMS.

In Australia, we have experienced

various degrees of lockdown across

the country over the past year, and our

political leaders have been grappling

with how best to share bad news.

The NSW government started with a

relatively light-touch approach that

has become more stringent the longer

lockdown has lasted. In Victoria, the

message and conditions were restrictive

from the get-go.

While I won’t go into the relative merits

of each lockdown, I do want to reflect on

the psychology of sharing and receiving

bad news.

Given every business owner or leader will

have to be the bearer of bad news at some

time or another, what does science tell us

about how to best approach it?

Forget the 'sandwich'

A popular approach to giving bad news,

particularly in performance reviews, is to

‘sandwich’ the negatives between more

positive information.

An example might be, “I really liked how

you ran that last project, but I think you

need to work harder on your presentation

skills. All-in-all, I think you are a great

team player.”

It’s a popular approach because it

makes the deliverer feel better about

giving criticism; it starts positive and

ends positive, thereby avoiding any

social awkwardness.

The problem is, most people are waiting

for the “but” – they miss any of the

good news you want them to hear. This

is largely due to negativity bias, which

means we are wired to pay attention to

the negative more than the positive.

You are also confusing the message and

diluting its importance.

Instead, try framing a performance

review discussion by saying, “Thanks for

meeting with me. Today I want to cover

two aspects of your performance, as I see

it. First, we’ll cover areas I’d like to see

Being the bearer of bad news is all about managing emotions.

some improvement, and second, we’ll

talk through where you are excelling.

Does that sound good?”

This approach still has enough of the

social niceties and it ends on a high, but

it deliberately demarcates the negatives

and positives.

Anchor expectations

There is a reason many of us seek to

under promise and over deliver – it’s a

form of expectation management.

Anchoring expectations low means you

can come back with good news later,

which is infinitely more pleasurable than

anchoring high and having to return with

bad news, which is a double whammy –

not only was your original estimate off,

but you failed to deliver as well!

However, anchoring low isn’t without

its problems. Firstly, if you do it all the

time to the same people, they will start

to second-guess your ability to estimate

accurately, and alter their expectations.

Secondly, if your anchor is unpalatable,

you may be dismissed outright. For

example, telling someone a repair will

take you two months to complete instead

of four weeks may mean they’ll choose

someone else.

Thirdly, people will plan around your

anchor, so if it’s too outlandish you might

end up annoying them with budgeting or

productivity gaps – put simply, delivering



low means you

can come back

with good news

later, which is

infinitely more

pleasurable than

anchoring high

and having to

return with bad

news – however,

anchoring low

isn't without its


a project two weeks before you said you

would may not be good news!

This low anchor has been a challenge

with lockdowns, particularly in NSW.

Restrictions started in a light-touch,

advisory way before being progressively

strengthened. As a result, the more

stringent restrictions felt worse for

people psychologically.

In Victoria, tough restrictions, such as

a 5km boundary and a curfew, set a

high anchor point; that meant the news

improved as restrictions were relaxed

and more freedoms allowed.

Experience is not the problem

Psychologist, author and Nobel laureate

Daniel Kahneman has described a

psychological phenomenon called

the ‘peak-end rule’ – human beings

remember moments of peak emotion and

the end of an experience.

Applying this to bad news, the biggest

takeaway is to focus on how you make

people feel and how you leave them.

Think back to the performance review

example; the criticism you share will

likely be the most intense part of the

experience for the employee – the ‘peak’.

To manage their emotional response,

be direct and assured, but also

compassionate. Remember that you

can use positive framing for bad news –

something like, “This is where I see your

greatest opportunity for development” –

to signal your support for them.

The end is also important; leaving the

employee with clear examples of what

they are doing well means they will have

the confidence and reassurance from you

to continue to perform.

BRI WILLIAMS is founder of People

Patterns, a specialist consultancy

that applies behavioural science to

everyday business issues. Visit:

September 2021 | 77


Marketing & PR

How to create a winning loyalty program

for your customers

Loyalty programs offer myriad benefits for businesses, explains SIMON DELL,

who advises the ins and outs of strategies to keep shoppers coming back for more.

There are few things more valuable to a

business than loyal customers, but how do

you attract those shoppers and keep them

coming back?

Naturally, delivering great service and

products is one way – but a loyalty program

is even better.

Offering loyalty benefits is a great way to

say 'thank you' to returning shoppers, as

well as attracting new ones – and there are

other benefits for businesses too.

Create a connection

Today, customers want to make an

emotional connection with brands, which

is why you may have noticed so many

businesses prioritising open and honest

communication with shoppers.

The business tells their story, in the hopes

that customers will identify with them and

support them accordingly.

Loyalty programs provide a platform for

that long-lasting connection; it is not just

about ‘freebies’, discounts and rewards,

but also communicating and connecting

with customers in a positive way.

Harness technology

Traditionally, a loyalty program may have

been confined to email communication, or

even ‘snail mail’!

Now, businesses can provide an omnichannel

experience for their customers.

When setting up a loyalty program, these

are some of the ever-expanding points

of interaction at which you can provide

benefits for, and communicate with,


• Apps – Send alerts, discounts, or offers

to customers through your business’ app;

alternatively, an app can simply offer a fun

and convenient way to interact

• Social media – Social media is now a

necessity for loyalty programs. It is not

only convenient, but also gives customers

a chance to share and promote your

business to like-minded shoppers

• Email – We all hate spam, but when your

Rewarding customers is more complex than it first appears.

customers are engaged enough to willingly

seek email offers and communication, take

the opportunity! Email is a great way to

announce sales, introduce new products,

educate customers, or offer exclusive


• Text messages – In advertising terms,

using text messages is a relatively new

phenomenon, but it’s very effective. Use

texts to let your loyal customers know

about special offers and limited time

opportunities, but be careful not to come

across like spam or a scam!

This omni-channel approach lets you show

customers they are valued and makes

them feel included. It also keeps your

business top-of-mind, allowing you to take

advantage of opportunities to secure a sale

at any time of the day.

Understand what customers want

Delivering value is one of the key

components of any loyalty program.

When creating your loyalty program,

research what your customers respond

to – whether it be exclusive sales, birthday

discounts, or earning points.

Either in-store or online, you can also

reward customers with a special gift at

the point of purchase. This shows genuine

appreciation and asks nothing of the

customer in return.


programs are of

course designed

to increase


loyalty and keep

people shopping

with you, with

the end goal to

generate more

sales and profits

– but it should

never appear

that way

Disguise the ‘sell’

Loyalty programs are of course designed

to increase customer loyalty and keep

people shopping with you, with the end goal

to generate more sales and profits – but it

should never appear that way.

Building customer loyalty is about

making genuine connections and showing

appreciation for continued business.

You should absolutely offer special deals

and benefits to loyalty program customers,

but only if it delivers real value to them.

An example of this is tier-based loyalty

programs. This system can work well from

a psychological perspective, as customers

will want to maintain their current tier – or,

if they are just shy of the next tier, spend a

little more to reach that threshold.

However, the system can fail if reaching the

next tier does not deliver a tangible benefit.

Similarly, consumers respond better

to promotions that feel special and

personalised – for example, birthdaybased

rewards emails have a far higher

transaction rate and generate more

revenue than standard promotional emails,

according to research by Experian.

Create meaningful interactions

Encouraging a customer to be loyal to

your business is a long and ever-changing

process. All customers value different

things so don’t be afraid to interact openly

and honestly with them.

Ask what they want, give them a say in new

products or ideas, make your interactions

meaningful, and people will take a genuine


The rewards of a loyalty program are a

bonus and a way for you to thank them for

their contribution.

SIMON DELL is co-founder and CEO

of Cemoh, a Brisbane-based firm that

provides marketing staff on demand.

He specialises in digital marketing and

brand management. Visit:

78 | September 2021


Logged On

The simplified guide to digital marketing

BETH WALKER presents a concise guide to the world of digital marketing for business

owners, from content marketing to SEO and social media.

When I tell people I work in digital

marketing, they often respond by saying

they don't want to sell their products or

services on social media.

This reaction is understandable.

These days, social media isn't always kind,

and the algorithms used to determine which

accounts and posts reach the most eyes

are unpredictable.

For this reason, I advise businesses to

think of social media as the icing on

the multi-layered cake of their digital

marketing strategy.

One definition of digital marketing is that

it is the strategy of using the internet to

market a business.

The goal of digital marketing should be to

create and optimise information that helps

a business’ ideal customers understand

everything about the business, which then

makes them more likely to trust – and

therefore purchase – from that business.

It is a broad concept, and includes content

marketing, search engine optimisation

(SEO), social media marketing, website

development and design, pay-per-click

(PPC) advertising, lead generation, lead

nurturing, and email marketing.

These elements can be grouped roughly

into two sections – content marketing and

website development.

Content marketing

Content is the most time-consuming and

often the most expensive part of a digital

marketing strategy but it is key to engaging

and exciting potential customers.

When a business provides valuable

information and keeps its online audience

informed about its activities, it adds value.

There is a lot of ‘noise’ on the internet and

content marketing helps you to distinguish

your business as a space where customers

won't have their time wasted.

As the business owner, you will know the

types of content your customers need.

Using keywords, you can create content

Digital marketing is a broad concept with many different elements.

about the most important topics for

your business.

When you develop a library of assets

that are well-written or produced,

authoritative, relevant, and attract your

audience's attention, you will quickly

become an authority in your field.

Content marketing assets include:

• Web page content

• Blog posts

• Emails

• Infographics

• Whitepapers

• E-books

• Videos

• Podcasts

• How-to guides

• Webinars

Content marketing also includes social

media, lead generation, lead nurturing,

and email marketing.

Website development

Your most important digital asset is

your website. It is vital to have a website

that presents a clear message and has

easy navigation.

User experience is something that can't

The goal

of digital


should be to

create and



that helps a

business’ ideal




about the


be overlooked, so it is critical to seek a

visually appealing design.

It's also necessary that your site is fully

optimised for SEO, providing you with the

best opportunities to rank highly in relevant

Google searches.

Incorporate SEO best practices into your

website’s content, meta descriptions,

and titles, incorporating key terms your

customers – and potential customers – are

using to search for businesses like yours.

Finally, you'll need to connect your website

to Google Analytics and Search Console

– formerly known as Google Webmaster

Tools – so you can ensure your site is being

found on Google.

Measurable results

To ensure your digital marketing strategy is

successful, it's important to analyse each

element. This ensures your effort, time and

resouces are actually working to connect

you with your desired audience.

However, the prospect of managing a digital

marketing strategy may seem daunting, and

you may want to seek further assistance.

If you start searching for the terms and

strategies highlighted in this article, you

will find thousands of get-rich-quick

pitches, hundreds of websites with people

stating they are digital marketing experts,

and just as many videos and webinars.

Each will have a different way of doing

things. So, who do you trust?

If marketers are willing to teach you what

they know to help you get started, that is a

good sign. It is also a good idea to listen to

a company that can prove its methodology

with case studies.

If a business cannot transparently show

that its strategies work, why should you

waste your time?

BETH WALKER writes for US-based

SMA Marketing, which specialises

in digital marketing strategies for

businesses. Visit:

September 2021 | 79

My Bench

Rick Southwick

Rick Southwick Bespoke Jewellery, Sydney NSW

Years in Trade 45 • Training Trained under Graham Whitehead in London and Rob Gardner in Sydney • First job Lambert & Freed, Sydney NSW, 1978

• Other Qualifications Blues guitar




There are three divergent design elements I have combined in

this ring. Firstly, and the core of the design is Victorian scroll

work; second, and less obvious, is a subtle Egyptian touch with

my interpretation of the god Anubis in the shoulders; and thirdly –

and even less obvious – is the Louis XV furniture leg. The reversed

leg features prominently in another of my signature styles.

4FAVOURITE GEMSTONE I do have a fondness

for green tourmalines, especially complemented

with diamonds as they bring the rich, earthy colour

to the fore.

4FAVOURITE METAL It has to be platinum,

which is a formidable metal but once understood

can be turned into sculptural works with sweeping

sharp edges and a clean, bright, natural

white colour.

4FAVOURITE TOOL Saw frame. I believe it to be

a jeweller’s most important instrument and once

mastered – I spent a full seven months training

on it in London – allows for greater technical and

creative depth.


Micromotor Drill. You have total control over speed

variations, allowing delicate work that is difficult

to achieve with confidence on a standard flexible

shaft drill.

4BEST PART OF THE JOB Designing and creating

jewellery. Full stop.

4WORST PART OF THE JOB Creative block – it’s

like walking through a desert!

4BEST TIP FROM A JEWELLER I had two mentors

– Graham Whitehead in London and Rob Gardner

in Sydney – who both instilled in me that designing

and creating jewellery is a holistic experience.

When applicable, allow a design to evolve while

creating it. That freedom is liberating.

4BEST TIP TO A JEWELLER Find mentors who

have the skills you want to learn, even if that

means going halfway round the world and walking

door-to-door to find them!


Posture is a key to longevity. The bench is

an extension of the jeweller, so it should be

ergonomically set up for ease of use and fluidity.


a career spanning the globe, learning Victorian

jewellery-making skills in London and the

intricacies of style and proportion in Sydney, and

has led me to tapping into my own ‘creative well’.

I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

80 | September 2021



Regulation is stifling Australia’s

artisanal gemstone miners

An avalanche of bureaucracy and rising costs are burying small-scale mining

businesses and crushing a vibrant industry’s potential, writes LILO STADLER.

Australia’s gemstone mining industry

– ranging from our unique opal to

parti-colour sapphire, chrysoprase and

emerald – is largely made up of smallscale

miners, many of which are either

sole traders or family businesses.

Sadly, their job is becoming more and more

difficult because of the government.

Both levels of government – state and

federal – treat small mining operations like

the ‘big boys’ of oil, gas and minerals; they

have the same expectations of them and

bury them under endless regulations.

It’s unfair and it’s wrong, as it has major

consequences not only for the miners

themselves but also for the rest of the

supply chain.

In the course of my business, I’ve

encountered many miners who have

developed an ‘us and them’ attitude; they

are hostile to and suspicious of any extra

paperwork or conditions the wholesaler

might legally require, thus making our job

more onerous too.

They are drowning in regulations already,

and I feel sorry for them because it’s an

awful position in which to be.

When it comes to the mining paperwork

itself, I’ve seen first-hand how difficult it

can be to understand and complete.

My son has a university education and is a

miner himself, and he is reluctant to give

help or advice to others because of the

complexities involved.

How are people supposed to deal with

government bodies who are making their

lives a misery, whilst paying through the

nose for the privilege?

The over-regulation is appalling and over

the past 20 years that has quadrupled;

the cost for miners to register a claim has

risen four or five times in 10 years.

That is extraordinary.

In NSW, the cost of a standard mineral

claim starts at more than $1,000, renewals

start at more than $350, and opal

prospecting licences are charged on top of

that – a minimum of $589.

For larger claims of two hectares, the fees

can be as high as $6,300.

As I said previously, many mining

operations – particularly those mining

for opals – are sole traders or family

businesses; this type of regulation is a

burden and it’s unnecessary.

You can spend hours simply trying to read

the paperwork, let alone fill it out.

The NSW Opal and Gemstone Mining Guide

alone is more than 230 pages long.

In Queensland, many are transitioning

from leases to a small miners claim

system. However there are still as many

as seven layers of costs, including rent,

Indigenous and landholder compensation,

council rates, environmental authority

fees, and camp and mining security bonds.

You may even need the Land Court involved

to have a mining claim approved.

How can the ordinary person with a small

claim, or a person who speaks English

as a second language, be expected to

handle that?

Even worse, the regulations change

state-to-state, so if you are operating in

more than one state you are expected to

abide by separate regulations, paperwork,

and fee structures.

The overregulation


appalling and

over the past 20

years that has

quadrupled; the

cost for miners

to register a

claim has risen

four or five

times in

10 years

Is it possible to solve this problem?

Unfortunately, as an industry, we have

very little say in the political process.

Broadly, there are very few industry

associations with the money or staff to

lobby politicians or promote these issues

through the media.

Large oil or gas mining companies have

teams of staff and separate budgets

dedicated to this type of thing, but

artisanal mining doesn’t have the same

resources. Even if you were to speak to

a politician about these problems, they

would get a glazed look in their eye!

Opal is our national gemstone and should

be treated as such, yet politicians seem to

disregard it – and the people who produce

it. When was the last time you saw an

Australian politician wearing an opal?

But they should care; our opals are a

reliable, high-value export commodity

and are much sought-after overseas,

with markets willing to pay a premium

for our product.

Ditto Australian sapphires which have also

become incredibly popular in recent years,

both with local consumers and overseas.

If politicians truly care about the industry

they should show a will to guarantee that

it thrives now and into the future.

That means ensuring artisanal gemstone

mining is considered a special category

and is, therefore, regulated separately and


Name: Lilo Stadler

Business: Bolda

Position: Director

Location: Noosa Heads, Queensland

Years in the industry: 45

82 | September 2021



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