Jeweller - November 2021

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This Month

Industry Facets

11 Editor’s Desk



Time Machine: November 2011

12 Upfront



Hammerton's Jewellers

14 News





Diamond Pipeline Review

24 Product Spotlight

52 Jewellers Showcase




Ethiopian opals


Troy O'Brien

4Diamond industry analysts PRANAY


share their insights into the‘pipeline’ from

mine to market over 2020 and 2021.




Virginia Moody






Mine to market: pipeline review


Secrets of the super-deep diamonds


New world emerging from isolation


Flashes of sunset magic

Better Your Business


A brave new world

4MARTIN FOSTER explores the return

to face-to-face fairs amid a distorted postpandemic

watch-buying environment.







DOUGH STEPHENS answers existential questions to help revive your business.


BRI WILLIAMS uncovers selling strategies for different personality types.


There are three keys to successfully recover from COVID, writes DAVID WAKEMAN.


BRIDGET BROWN reveals the blueprint for building the ark before the next flood.


DONNA ST JEAN CONTI provides steps on how to harness your website's FAQ page.


Sunset Magic

4From sunshine lemons

to vibrant tangerine hues,

explore the beauty of yellow

and orange gemstones.

FRONT COVER This iconic 2.83-carat fancy deep

grayish-bluish violet Argyle diamond is the largest

to have been recovered from the Argyle mine, and

was acquired by LJ West in the 2016 Argyle tender.

Set into platinum and accented by a halo of 12 vivid

pink diamonds, this Scott West design has toured the

world and was on display at the Los Angeles' Natural

History Museum as part of an outstanding diamonds

exhibition. LJ West Diamonds is a three-generation

specialist in rare fancy colour diamonds, and one of

the earliest Arygle Pink Diamond authorised partners.

November 2021 | 9


AUGUST 27 – 29, 2022

ICC Sydney, Darling Harbour


Est. 1990

Editor’s Desk

DeBeers, it was always going to happen

De Beers recently announced that it will now sell loose lab-created diamonds direct to consumers.

ANGELA HAN explores further challenges that lie ahead for both retailers and suppliers.

It was more than two years ago, on

29 May 2018, when De Beers Group

stunned the jewellery industry with its

announcement that it was entering the

lab-created diamond market with a range

they described as “high-quality, fashion

jewellery designs at lower prices than

existing lab-grown diamond offerings."

The jewellery was to be manufactured and

marketed by a new, stand-alone company

called Lightbox Jewelry, with sales of earrings

and necklaces beginning on 27 September

that year. Naturally, all diamonds for the

Lightbox collection would be sourced from De

Beers’ own Element Six manufacturing facility.

As if the unexpected move wasn’t enough,

the announcement was made just prior to

the opening of the JCK Las Vegas Show, in

what many said was a well-timed attack on

its competitors.

The pricing model of the Lightbox diamonds

flew in the face of all accepted pricing

‘standards’ and ‘models’ for both natural

and other lab-created diamonds.

De Beers used Lightbox to create a

‘transparent’ and ‘affordable’ linear pricing

model at US$800 (AU$1,350) per carat

regardless of whether the piece of jewellery

consisted of a one-carat diamond or two half

carats, or even four-quarter carat stones.

Recently, it introduced loose diamonds

under the same linear model, but now with

a 2-carat stone being priced at US$1,600


While De Beers’ unorthodox pricing was said

to be another attack on competitors as a

way to create upheaval in diamond pricing,

its logic was more rational – all stones

are manufactured under state-of-the art

conditions so they are all identical, therefore

the pricing is identical.

Sally Morrison, chief marketing officer,

Lightbox Jewelry told Jeweller in December

2018: “Our reasoning is simple: this is a

manufactured product and we firmly believe

lab-grown stones should be priced based on

cost of manufacture, not as a discount from

natural diamond pricing, which is defined by

relative rarity.”

Following the Lightbox announcement, a

2018 Bain & Co report commissioned by the

Antwerp World Diamond Centre, revealed

that a the manufacturing cost for a onecarat

CVD-created diamond was US$300 to

US$500 per carat, compared with US$4,000

per carat in 2008.

Unlike other lab-created diamond suppliers

offering loose stones, the Lightbox branded

diamonds were only available in set jewellery.

But even blind Freddy could see what was


And so it was last month, almost two years

later, the announcement was made for “the

launch of Lightbox Loose Stones, a new

purchase format that gives consumers the

ability to buy individual high-quality Lightbox

lab-grown diamonds at its industry-leading

price of $800 per carat.”

Surprise? Not really!

You see, De Beers entering the lab-created

market was no surprise to Jeweller. In fact, in

2018 when Lightbox was launched, we asked:

“Why did it take so long?”

Indeed, 13 years earlier in 2005, Jeweller's

editorial stated: “De Beers should begin

manufacturing synthetic diamonds… Rather

than fighting the inevitable, perhaps the

company would be best to embrace it.”

After all, the diamond behemoth had an

enormous income stream to protect, so it

wasn’t a matter of if but when it would begin

selling lab-created diamonds. The reasoning

was simple: you can’t win a game you’re not

playing – have you ever seen a game won by

a spectator?

De Beers’ latest announcement to offer

lab-created diamonds directly to consumers

simply follows an inevitable path towards an

evolving business model.

If we accept this logic, then we are left with

another question: was all this a strategic

move to ensure that other lab-created

diamond innovators didn’t become a blanket

disruption to the natural diamond market,

or was it because De Beers finally realised

that lab-created diamonds are not a serious

threat after all?

Jeweller first raised this question in 2018

in our Great Diamond Debate – Natural Vs

Synthetic where we concluded that it might

be both, or perhaps it didn't matter at all!

The debate then quickly moved on; cool

heads prevailed and the lab-created diamond

manufacturers learned to live with competition

De Beers’ latest


to offer



directly to


simply follows

an inevitable

path towards

an evolving

business model.

from the De Beers-backed Lightbox just as

De Beers had come to realise lab-created

diamonds were here to stay.

The next debate became Fact vs Fiction

as both sides fought a marketing

jargon battle. Sure, the winners were

the consumers who now had more

choice. However, could they really make

an informed decision in the midst of

a marketing barrage about the pros

and cons of natural versus lab-created


Away from the battlefields of marketing

and jargon, both retailers and suppliers

are now faced with other dilemmas.

Mass-manufacturing facilities can’t stop

manufacturing. In order to keep the

business operating and doors open, it must

keep producing, at which point supply will

outstrip demand; thus prices drop.

With such a volatile model, retailers may

be less likely to keep stock of lab-created

diamonds in the same way they do with

their natural counterparts.

Increasingly, with the price of lab-created

diamonds falling and suppliers selling loose

stones direct to the public becoming the

preferred model, this could further impact

retailer diamond sales. When prices are

driven so low to a point where no one in

the supply chain makes a profit, something

somewhere along the way has got to give.

De Beers executive vice president Stephen

Lussier told JCK in March that the

wholesale price of lab-created diamonds

was still declining and, “They are probably

down some 20 per cent in the fourth quarter

of 2020 alone.”

A diminishing margin could further propel

lab-created manufacturers to stray from

traditional supply channels and go direct to

the consumer. For retailers, whose natural

diamond sales have been challenged by

online platforms, lab-created diamonds

could also prove to further undercut their

overall diamond sales.

The dust has yet to settle in this battle, but

one thing is for sure: the market for gemquality

lab-created diamonds is there and

continues to grow – but the supply channel

still has a way to go.

Angela Han


November 2021 | 11


#Instagram hashtags to follow

The ERP program

is an extension

of the existing

Shopify Plus

Certified App

Partner Program.


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The Hooker


4Mined in Colombia in the 16th or

17th Centuries, the rough that would

become the Hooker Emerald was sent

to Europe by Spanish Conquistadors,

where it was cut and polished before

being sold to the ruling family of the

Ottoman Empire.

Digital Brainwave


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Alpha Order

Sultan Abdul Hamid II wore it as a belt buckle before it was smuggled to

Paris in 1908 with other Ottoman crown jewels. Tiffany & Co. purchased

the emerald via auction in 1911, initially set in a tiara before being crafted

into its current form, a diamond and platinum brooch. Heiress Janet

Annenberg Hooker purchased the brooch from Tiffany & Co. in 1955, and

gifted it to the Smithsonian museum in 1977, where it remains on display

to this day.

4E-commerce platform Shopify has

launched a new global enterprise resource

planning (ERP) program, which will give

retailers access to a suite of new apps.

Shaun Broughton, managing director

of Shopify Asia-Pacific, said, “Shopify’s

integration with leading ERP providers

gives merchants – especially those running

multiple stores across different geographies,

sub-brands and audiences – the power to

manage their business operations directly in

their Shopify stores.”

Trend Spotting

4One of the trends to emerge from the

catwalks of 'Fashion Month' – the New

York, London, Milan, and Paris Fashion

Weeks – was armbands. A revival of the

'90s-2000s trend, the modern version

sits on the bicep. Whether embellished,

oversized, or sleek (as seen at the Tory

Burch show, above), armbands are the

perfect jewellery accessory for summer's

sleeveless clothes and swimwear.

Campaign Watch

Image credit: GoRunway

Image credit: Charles Melling/David Yurman

4US jewellery brand David Yurman

has unveiled its latest campaign for the

Northern Hemisphere autumn. Named

'The Power of Cable', the campaign

features Yurman's signature rope-like

jewellery from the Sculpted Cable, Stax,

Lexington, Elements, and Pyramid

collections, photographed in the streets

of New York City.

Stranger Things

Weird, wacky and wonderful

jewellery news from around the world

Duly noted

4A burglar in the city of

Dewas, India has left a cheeky

note for a homeowner after

breaking into their property. The

note questioned why the resident

had left their house unlocked if

there was no money or valuables

inside! The thief did not leave

empty-handed, however; Indian

media report that they took some

cash and silver jewellery, which

was discovered by the homeowner –

a public official – when he visited the

property two weeks later.

Cold as ice

4Scientists at the Gemological

Institute of America (GIA)

have discovered a diamond that

changes colour when chilled

to hundreds of degrees below

zero. The stone is grey at room

temperature but shifts to yellow

when cooled to -320 o C – the same

temperature as liquid nitrogen.

It has been dubbed the 'cryogenic

diamond', though the mechanism

of the colour change is unknown.

Royal flush

4Sydney Water has launched

a new advertising campaign

to prevent the city's residents

from blocking their toilets with

'unflushable' objects. Over the

past three months, Sydney Water

crews have had to fix more than

7,000 pipe blockages caused by

– among other things – flushed

watches and jewellery! The

organisation estimates it spends

$8 million every year removing

500 tonnes of refuse from the

wastewater system.


Published by Befindan Media Pty Ltd

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

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

Advertising Toli Podolak toli.podolak@jewellermagazine.com • Accounts Paul Blewitt finance@befindanmedia.com

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

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

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

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

arising from the published material.

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In Brief

Chow Tai Fook embraces

lab-grown diamonds

4The world's largest jewellery retailer

by store count, Chow Tai Fook (CTF), has

quietly launched a lab-created diamond

brand named Cama on e-commerce platform

Tmall. Kent Wong, managing director CTF,

previously said the company "fully supports

the natural diamond industry" and in May

2021, CTF signed an agreement with the

Natural Diamond Council to promote mined

diamonds in the Chinese market.

Fight continues over pandemic Insurance

De Beers searches for

diamonds in Greenland

4 Diamond mining giant De Beers has

conducted an eight-day survey of the

ocean floor off Greenland's west coast to

determine whether it could hold deposits

of marine diamonds. The survey spanned

approximately 800km of the seabed near

the town of Maniitsoq, according to a

spokesperson for the Geological Survey

of Denmark and Greenland. The results

will take several months to analyse.

Fabergé creates bag

with Gemfields

4Historic jewellery and accessories

manufacturer Fabergé has unveiled a

gemstone-encrusted bag, the Majesty

clutch, made in conjunction with coloured

gemstone supplier Gemfields. Priced

at $US400,000, it features Gemfields'

Mozambican rubies and Zambian

emeralds, diamonds, pearls, yellow and

pink sapphires, and tsavorites, and is

Fabergé's first bag since 1917.

Al Capone's jewellery and

watches auctioned

4A collection of property belonging to

infamous gangster Al Capone have gone

under the hammer in California, fetching

$US3 million. His platinum-anddiamond

Patek Philippe pocket watch

far exceeded its $US25,000–50,000

estimate, selling for $US229,900, while

a 14-carat white gold and diamond 'AC'

pendant sold for $US82,280, well above

its $US2,500 –5,000 estimate. Capone's

granddaughters sold the pieces.

Business interruption insurance has emerged as a controversial topic during the pandemic, with

insurance giants claiming policies were never intended to cover pandemics.

The Federal Court of Australia has dealt

a blow to a number of small businesses,

including retailers, who have made been

denied insurance payouts for losses

sustained during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Court decision on a crucial test

case overwhelmingly found in favour of

insurance companies meaning that they

may potentially avoid paying out billions,

ABC has reported.

Business interruption insurance has

emerged as a controversial topic during

the pandemic, with insurance giants

claiming policies were never intended to

cover pandemics.

Justice Jayne Jagot found that the majority

of nine business interruption policies put

before the Federal Court for assessment

would avoid payouts to the insured


According to the ABC report, “the test case

looked at under what terms a business

could claim for downturn in trade during

the pandemic, including if a government

lockdown order was sufficient or whether

a business needed an actual case of the

virus in its proximity to claim.”

A number of class-action lawsuits have

been launched including one that involves

Damien Cody, director Cody Gemtec

Retail, which trades as The National Opal

Collection. He has publicly challenged the

insurance companies for refusing to offer

compensation to small businesses with

interruption policies.

Cody told Jeweller: “These test cases were

hand-selected by the Insurers to be tested

in court. They do not necessarily reflect

the broad range of wordings and claims

that have been denied. Our claim on the

Lloyds policy was put forward by AFCA as

a potential test case however Lloyds did

not want it to be tested.

“Some of the findings might have

implications for some of the arguments

in our matter but not the most important


John Berrill, the Lawyer representing

Cody, confirmed that the Court’s ruling

might not affect his client.

“The way a policy works is that there are

things called deeming clauses. Their

policy states that they have to prove

there was an outbreak but if there was

an outbreak, it is deemed to have caused

damage to the business.

They [the insured] still need to prove they

suffered a loss because of the outbreak,

but their [Cody’s] policy does not have all

the problems or potential problems that

Justice Jagot identified in her decision,”

Berrill explained.

14 | November 2021


New jewellery insurance regulations in wake of Royal Commission

Reforms to add-on insurance are impacting the

jewellery industry, with consumers bearing the

risk of having uninsured pieces.

Jewellery insurance providers are adapting to

fresh regulations, introduced following Kenneth

Hayne QC's Royal Commission into Misconduct

in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial

Services Industry.

The restrictions form part of the Financial Sector

Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response) Bill,

passed by Federal Parliament in December 2020,

and which came into effect on 5 October 2021.

They are designed to prevent the ‘hawking’ of

financial products, such as insurance, to retail

clients for whom they were not designed.

The reforms include the introduction of a

‘deferred sales model’ for add-on insurance –

defined as insurance products offered or sold in

connection with the purchase of a principal good

or service – in order to strengthen consumer

confidence and prevent ‘pressure selling’.

In practice, this means that when jewellers refer

a customer to an insurer, the customer “must

wait four days before being able to take out the

insurance,” Lachlan Renshaw, managing director

of Centrestone Jewellery Insurance, told Jeweller.

“The intention by regulators was to protect

consumers from being forced into insurance

policies they didn’t need.

"Specifically, they named wheel-rim insurance

and mobile phone insurance as products which

provided little to no value to the consumer."

Renshaw added, “In reality, for the jewellery

industry, what this means is that if a customer

comes into a jewellery store to pick up their new

jewellery, they cannot insure it for four days and

the risk falls onto the customer.”

In order to address this risk, Centrestone

Jewellery Insurance has introduced a

complementary four-day policy for customers

referred by jewellers “so there is no break in cover

and the customer is insured from the moment

they activate their cover with us,” Renshaw said.

The comprehensive four day policy offers all the

same policy features as Centrestone Jewellery

Insurance standard policy for jewellery items

up to $50,000, with like-for-like replacement

provided by the referring jeweller.

This offer is fully compliant with the new

regulations and means that customer do not

need to wait four days until obtaining cover.

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Michael Hill to stock Seiko watches,

De Beers diamonds

Seiko watches are now available through Michael Hill Australia and New Zealand. The

retailer has also unveiled premium rings set with De Beers Code of Origin diamonds.

Jewellery chain Michael Hill International has introduced Seiko watches

across selected Australian and New Zealand stores and on its e-commerce

website. The range includes 53 “premium level” models for men and

women from Seiko’s Prospex, Presage, Armstrong, Coutura, and Le Grand

Sport Collections, and will retail from $650–$3,750.

It is the only watch brand stocked by Michael Hill, apart from its in-house

Michael Hill range; Michael Hill previously stocked Seiko watches some

years ago.







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Yukiaki Suganuma, managing director of Seiko Australia, said “Seiko is

excited to be partnering with Michael Hill. Daniel Bracken, CEO Michael

Hill International, added, “We are delighted to reignite our relationship

with Seiko and introduce a range of Seiko watches to our Michael Hill

customers in Australia and New Zealand.

Customers purchasing Seiko watches through Michael Hill will receive an

'e-guarantee', and repairs and services follow the usual Michael Hill terms

and will be carried out by Seiko.

Excluding Michael Hill, Seiko has 286 stockists in Australia and New Zealand

according to its website, including large chains Wallace Bishop, Bevilles, and

Shiels, and smaller chains Salera's, Regency Jewellers, and Hoskings.

Meanwhile, Michael Hill has also announced it will stock a range of

engagement rings set with diamonds from the De Beers Code of Origin

Trusted Source Program. The range will be part of the premium The

Solitaire By Michael Hill Collection and manufactured in Australia, set in

platinum and 18-carat gold.

A statement from Michael Hill International said, "Diamonds from the

De Beers Code of Origin Trusted Source Program reflect De Beers’ deep

commitment to social and environmental responsibility, giving the wearer

additional peace of mind and a diamond that they can be especially proud

to own and wear."

Code of Origin diamonds are guaranteed to be natural and unearthed by

De Beers in Canada, Botswana, Namibia or South Africa, conflict-free and

meeting De Beers' ethical standards, which the company describes as


De Beers claims Code of Origin diamonds also "helped protect the planet

through wildlife conservation and De Beers’ commitment to be carbon

neutral by 2030".

The collection is available online and in selected stores across Michael Hill

International's store network in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

apdx.com.au 1800 344 008


De Beers-owned Lightbox Jewelry now offers loose pink, blue, and white lab-created

diamonds to its US customers.

Lightbox launches loose lab-created

fancy colour diamonds for consumers

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

business, has launched new product category Lightbox Loose Stones,

which enables consumers to purchase individual Lightbox white, pink, or

blue lab-grown diamonds at its standardised price of $US800 per carat.

Lightbox introduced loose stone sales following an increase in

consumer demand for custom design – particularly from the female

self-purchase demographic.

The loose lab-grown diamonds are showcased on the website

alongside one-of-a-kind finished pieces – which are designed to act

as an 'inspiration board' – and a list of jewellers specialising in custom

design work.

Steve Coe, CEO Lightbox Jewelry, said, “From the beginning, we have

had enquiries from consumers who see our lab-grown diamonds –

with their unbeatable price, great quality, and range of colour – as an

opportunity to explore their creativity, making something that is

unique to them."

He added, “We are thrilled to launch this exciting new concept that

offers a simple and accessible way to create fun and affordable,

custom-designed lab-grown diamond fashion jewellery using our

colorful array of stones.

Lightbox Loose will open up a world of possibilities for a broad range

of consumers to experiment with customisation, personalisation and

creative design.”

The stones are available in sizes up to 2 carats, round brilliant or

princess cut, via the Lightbox website. However, they are currently

only available to US customers – unlike the broader Lightbox range,

which ships internationally, including to Australia.

The announcement explained that the “concept evolved as the

company saw a growing demand from customers, particularly

women self-purchasers, looking for bespoke design options.

"To make the process simple and approachable, Lightbox developed

a seamless online purchase and referral experience. Shoppers can

easily select and buy individual Lightbox lab-grown diamonds, peruse

original custom designs, and browse a vetted list of established

jewelers known for their custom design work.”


Diamond organisation expands

lab-grown testing program

The Natural Diamond Council has announced a second laboratory and updated samples will be added to its

diamond detection initiative, the Assure Program.

Wholesaler of Precious and Semi-Precious

Gemstones based in the Heart of the Sydney CBD

Phone 02 9262 9608

Mobile 0410 911 637

Address Suite 410, Level 4,

250 Pitt St, Sydney CBD,

NSW, 2000, Australia

Email sdkgemstones@gmail.com

The Natural Diamond Council (NDC) –

formerly the Diamond Producers Association

– has expanded its diamond detection

initiative, the Assure Program, which

was first launched in 2019.

The Assure Program is designed to “protect

consumers and safeguard the integrity of the

natural diamond supply chain” by providing

third-party testing of what the NDC terms

“diamond verification instruments” – that

is, detectors of lab-grown diamonds and

diamond simulants such as cubic zirconia.

Detectors are evaluated against stringent

criteria by an independent testing laboratory

– UL, a “global safety certification” business

headquartered in the US – allowing jewellery

retailers to accurately compare devices with

different manufacturers and price ranges.

The NDC claimed that in just over a year, the

program had tested approximately 80 per

cent of the “commercially available and viable

diamond verification instruments”, with a

“positive welcome by the industry”.

In order to broaden the scope of the program

and double testing capacity, the NDC has

engaged a second laboratory, located at the

University of Antwerp in Belgium.

Both testing facilities will use identical

samples and procedures, and “work

simultaneously to enhance the long-term

sustainability of the Assure Program”.

Notably, diamond-set jewellery will also now

be included in testing. The testing samples

have also been updated to “reflect goods

currently circulating in the market, as well as

individual stones that anticipate future trends

and pose some of the greatest challenges to

diamond verification instruments.”

Raluca Anghel, head of external affairs

and industry relations at the NDC, said,

“By enhancing and improving the Assure

Program we are taking even greater strides in

protecting consumer confidence.

“Everyone is responsible for correctly

disclosing the nature of the product they are

selling, but to facilitate this we need robust

diamond verification instruments that are

rigorously tested.

"With this latest iteration of the Assure

Program, manufacturers will be presented

with vital information to continue improving

their devices and consumers can be assured

of the vigorous steps taken to ensure their


Yoram Dvash, president of the World

Federation of Diamond Bourses, praised the

Assure Program for “its important role in

protecting consumers and enabling them to

feel confident in their diamond purchases."

The testing program is particularly relevant to

the Indian market, where new customs export

codes for lab-created and natural diamonds

will come into effect on 1 January 2022.

Manufacturers of detectors can now

submit both new instruments and existing

instruments that have already been tested

– but whose AssureTested Certification is

approaching the two-year expiry date – to be

re-tested with the updated sample.



Modi family member named in controversial ‘Pandora Papers’

Purvi Modi, the sister of disgraced diamond and jewellery

mogul Nirav Modi, has been named in the 'Pandora

Papers' financial leak.

The sister of disgraced former diamond and

jewellery mogul Nirav Modi has been implicated

in the recent ‘Pandora Papers’ document leak,

which has brought to light the international

financial dealings of wealthy individuals.

Called the “largest investigation in journalism

history”, the Pandora Papers comprise of

approximately 12 million documents detailing

complex company structures and off-shore

banking. The documents were analysed by 150

media organisations worldwide.

Among them was The Indian Express, which

subsequently published a report into the actions

of Purvi Modi, also known as Purvi Mehta.

Nirav Modi has spent more than two years in

custody in the UK, facing extradition to India in

relation to the $US1.8 billion ($AU2.3 billion)

Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud.

The Indian Express reports that in December 2017

– one month before Modi fled India – his sister set

up Brookton Management Ltd, a firm registered

in the British Virgin Islands, which would act as a

protector for The Deposit Trust, which she formed

through a company in Singapore.

The British Virgin Islands has long been

considered a 'tax haven'. According to The

Indian Express, Purvi Modi declared the monies

contained in the trust were earned from her role

as creative director of her brother’s company

Firestar Diamonds, which was implicated in the

PNB fraud.

Records analysed by The Indian Express also

reportedly show Purvi Modi and another brother

owned three other businesses registered in the

British Virgin Islands, which India’s economic

intelligence and law enforcement agency, the

Enforcement Directorate (ED), claims were used

by Nirav Modi to launder money, with Dubai-based

subsidiaries alleged to have been used to divert

$US265 million to Purvi Modi.

In a statement to The Indian Express, Manavendra

Mishra, a legal representative for Purvi Modi,

denied wrongdoing in relation to the Pandora

Papers report.

Earlier this year, Purvi Modi and her husband

Maiank Mehta – who are Belgian and British

citizens, respectively – agreed to cooperate with

the PNB fraud investigation against her brother in

exchange for pardons.



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Luxury jewellery brands join new

sustainability initiative, set targets for 2030

Jewellery brand Cartier – part of the

Richemont group – and luxury conglomerate

Kering, the parent company of Boucheron,

Pomellato, Qeelin, Ulysse Nardin and

Girard-Perregaux, have launched a new

sustainability project in conjunction with the

Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC).

The Watch and Jewellery Initiative 2030

invites watch and jewellery businesses "with

a national and international footprint" to

"begin a collective journey towards a lowcarbon

future" by committing to a range of


Iris Van der Veken, executive director of the

RJC, explained, "Business can be a force for

positive change and impact by supporting

a global economy that protects people, the

planet and the natural systems that sustain

us. Business as usual is no longer an option."

Based on the United Nations Sustainable

Development Goals, the initiative will focus

on achieving "science-based climate targets,

biodiversity protection and materials and

business model innovation" to protect

employees across the supply chain.

Cyrille Vigneron, president and CEO of

Cartier, said, “As the watch and jewellery

sector relies on the Earth’s precious

resources and people’s know-how around

the world within its value chains, the

imperative to act together in creating a more

positive impact has become ever clearer.

"We are thrilled to join efforts towards a more

sustainable industry... and to invite other

industry actors to join this initiative."

Jean-François Palus, group managing

director of Kering , added, “We believe

that luxury is inseparable from the highest

environmental and social standards, and

that it is our responsibility, as leading luxury

players, to initiate the changes that are

needed to protect our planet... Only collective

action can make the difference to transform

our industry for the better."

The initiative will produce regular reports and

comply with government regulations.

IIJS announces dates and venue for 2022 show


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20 | October 2021


One of the world’s leading jewellery fairs,

the India International Jewellery Show

(IIJS), is moving location. The first event to

take place at the new JIO World Convention

Centre in Mumbai will be IIJS Signature.

Organised by the Gem & Jewellery Export

Promotion Council (GJEPC), IIJS has

two the editions each year; Signature is

traditionally held at the beginning of the

year while the larger event, Premier, is

usually held around August–September.

With state-of-the-art facilities and located

in the heart of the city, across the street

from the Bharat Diamond Bourse, the

JWCC will offer a new experience for

exhibitors and visitors.

JIO World Convention Centre (JWCC) is a

new world-class centre situated adjacent to

Mumbai’s famous 20-acre Bharat Diamond

Bourse complex which houses 26 towers of

nine floors each.

Apart from hosting international exhibitions

and conventions JWCC will also feature a

shopping centre, office space, hotels, and

a theatre. Among the convention centre’s

amenities are a 5,000 car parking facility,

in-house food and beverage facility, and

fibre-enabled data services.

IIJS Signature will run from 6–9 January

2022 and according to the GJEPC will

feature 1400 stalls, across two pillarless

halls over two floors - Jasmine Hall and the

Pavilion Hall spanning 10,000 and 15,000

square metres respectively.

The GJEPC’s national exhibition convener,

Shailesh Sangani, said, “We are happy to

announce the 14th edition of IIJS Signature

to be held at JIO World Convention Centre.

This is the best exhibition space in the

entire country, and we’re thrilled that IIJS

Signature will go down in history as a debut

event of JWCC, a future landmark of the

financial capital of India, Mumbai”.

“GJEPC will follow all governmentmandated

Covid-19 protocols to ensure the

safety of all concerned. All attendees will

be mandated to comply with covid safety

protocols as per the State government

norms,” the media release explained.

“Entry is open only for visitors with at least

one vaccine dose along with a negative

RT-PCR report done at least 48 hours prior

to their first entry at the show. Double

vaccinated attendees are not required to

submit an RT-PCR report.”


Recovery in diamond market as Alrosa, De Beers record positive results

Alrosa’s annual diamond investment market report

states that the diamond market has "fully recovered

from the pandemic".

Two of the world’s leading miners have

reported increased demand for rough


De Beers has reported its rough diamond

production increased by 28 per cent to 9.2

million carats. The company issued its latest

results saying: “Demand for rough diamonds

continued to be robust, with positive midstream

sentiment reflecting strong demand for

polished diamond jewellery, particularly in the

key markets of the US and China.”

Meanwhile, Alrosa’s annual diamond

investment market report states that the

diamond market has "fully recovered from the

pandemic", with jewellery sales increasing

sharply. The report stated that jewellery sales

are forecast to exceed $US90 billion in 2021

a 23 per cent year-on-year increase.

Demand from Alrosa’s two largest jewellery

markets, US and China, increased by 50 per

cent and 10 per cent respectively, compared

with the 2019 pre-covid pandemic levels.

Proceeds from De Beer’s eighth sale of the

year — including the September sight — rose

5 per cent year-on-year to $US490 million,

up from $US467 million in the equivalent

period of 2020.

De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver said: “As the

diamond sector prepares for the key holiday

season and US consumer demand for diamond

jewellery continues to perform strongly, we saw

further robust demand for rough diamonds in

the eighth sales cycle of the year.”

Production from most De Beers mines was

positive with Botswana’s production increasing

by 33 per cent to 6.4 million carats while

Namibia result was a 65 per cent increase to

0.4 million carats. South Africa production

increased by 34 per cent to 1.6 million carats

however, Canada’s results was a decrease by

13 per cent to 0.8 million carats, due to lower

grade ore being processed.

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Tissot launches new hybrid watch; new era for Swatch Group?

Swiss watch manufacturer Tissot – part of the

Swatch Group – has launched a new hybrid sports

watch, the T-Touch Connect Solar, which is an

upgraded version of the original T-Touch Solar

released in 2014.

Scott Jungwirth, general manager of Tissot

Australia and New Zealand, said, "The T-Touch

Connect Solar comes at a time where interest in

fitness-related functions is growing, while still

paying homage to Tissot’s roots in luxury fashion.

"With a contemporary and sporty design the

watch has impressive presence on the wrist and

provides the perfect accessory for lovers of sport,

leisure and style," he added.

Hybrid watches combine many of the functions

of smartwatches – including step counters,

navigation, and weather – with the design of a

traditional mechanical watch.

According to data from Mordor Intelligence, the

hybrid watch market is predicted to increase by

14.5 per cent between 2020 and 2025, equal

to smartwatches.

Swatch Group's history with the smartwatch/

hybrid category is somewhat chequered; CEO

Nicolas Hayek once described the Apple Watch as

"an interesting toy, but not a revolution".

The group announced it was working on a

proprietary operating system – then known as

'Swiss OS' – in 2017 and the first hybrids bearing

this system were expected to launch in 2018.

However, the project was delayed indefinitely.

According to a Tissot statement, Swatch Group

invested CHF30 million to develop the operating

system, now named swALPS, which is present in

the T-Touch Connect Solar. Notably, swALPS does

not rely on software from Google or Apple, though

it is compatible with both iPhone and Android.

A Tissot statement emphasised the privacy

advantage: "Its exclusive, proprietary operating

system means that your data is securely stored

on servers that ensure your privacy. The watch, its

applications, and any paired smartphones cannot

send data to third parties."

Tissot is stocked at Angus & Coote stores and

independent chains Salera's, Mazzucchelli's, and

Gregory Jewellers, among others.

AFL player Marcus Bontempelli is one of three athletes

in Tissot's campaign for the T-Touch Connect Solar,

alongside rugby league's Ryan Papenhuyzen and

basketball star-turned-commentator Corey Williams.

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LVMH watches and jewellery division

profits buoyed by Tiffany & Co.

€2.14 billion ($A3.3 billion), according to the

company's most recent financial report.

Sales rose 90 per cent when compared with

the same period in 2019; pre-pandemic;

however, this figure does not include sales

from Tiffany, & Co. which was acquired in

January this year.

Excluding Tiffany’ & Co., sales increased by 1

per cent when compared with 2019.

Tiffany & Co.'s "remarkable performance" has

lifted the LVMH watch and jewellery division. Image

credit: Mason Poole/Tiffany & Co.

The watches and jewellery division of French

luxury conglomerate Louis Vuitton Moët

Hennessy (LVMH) saw sales surge in the third

quarter of 2021, driven by strong results from

newly-acquired Tiffany & Co.

In the three months to 30 September 2021,

revenues for the division – which includes

jewellery brands Bulgari, Chaumet, and

Fred, and watch manufacturers TAG Heuer,

Zenith, and Hublot, in addition to Tiffany &

Co. – increased by 125 per cent, reaching

For the first nine months of the year, jewellery

and watch revenue rose 172 per cent and

sales increased 89 per cent compared with

2019. Excluding Tiffany & Co., that figure was

4 per cent.

While LVMH does not reveal individual

financial results for its businesses, the

company did note in a statement, "Driven by

the growing success of its iconic products,

Tiffany enjoyed a remarkable performance,

particularly in its major market, the US."

Since taking control of Tiffany & Co., LVMH

has pursued several high-profile marketing

initiatives, including launching an international

campaign with A-list performers Beyoncé and

Jay-Z in September.

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Swiss watch exports exceed expectations

Recent statistics released by the

Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry

(FH) shows that watch exports continued

to increase in September reaching CHF1.9

billion ($AU2.7 billion). According to FH,

this result followed “a steady month in

August” and “exceeded the result achieved

in September 2019 by 3.1 per cent.”

The US and China were the major markets

contributing to the rise with the former

achieving a 28.5 per cent increase over the

2019 figure while China accounted for an

increase of 45 per cent.

A number of markets experienced large

declines such as Hong Kong (-20 per cent)

Japan (-21 per cent).

The Swiss trade association, which is

headquartered in Bienne, emphasised that

the industry was still suffering from the

global COVID-19 pandemic.

“The third quarter was again marked

by an unusual base effect, insofar as

the corresponding period in 2020 was

still affected by the consequences of the

pandemic, against which exports fell by

13.1 per cent. A comparison with prepandemic

levels is therefore still justified,”

the report stated.

Interestingly, exports for cheaper watch

models – less than CHF 500 export price –

saw a dramatic decline, both in value and

by number of items, falling 24 per cent.

However, timepieces ranging between

CHF500–3,000 ($AU725–$AU4,400)

increased by more than seven per cent

and models above CHF3,000 rose by six

per cent.

The reports stated: “Growth was driven

by precious metal and steel watches,

and by the ‘other metals’ category, while

bimetallic (two-tone) watches declined.

The number of items fell by almost

300,000 units compared with September

2019, influenced mainly by the steel and

‘other metals’ categories.

Overall, total exports for the first nine

months of the year tracked to those for

the same period of 2019, up 1 per cent to

CHF16.08 billion ($AU233 billion).



On The Market

1 2 3






Jeweller’s monthly compiled

snapshot of the latest and greatest

products to hit the market.

6 7


1 NAVNEET GEMS & MINERALS Beautiful sapphires are in the spotlight. With a fascinating combination of serene blues and mysterious greens, they make for perfect gemstones for the creative jeweller.

2 THOMAS SABO | Duraflex Group Australia From padlocks and keys to slender column tags and hearts, Thomas Sabo's sterling silver personalisable range showcases symbols of affinity to industrial

style. 3 CHIARA FERRAGNI | West End Collection Chiara Ferragni's rose crystal gold watch, from its Everyday collection, features a pink rose crystal bezel with a 34mm champagne dial with an all gold PVD

metal bracelet. 4 PATERSON FINE JEWELLERY Available in all letters of the alphabet, these 9-carat gold Initial diamond-set pendants are 10mm in diameter. 5 EFVA ATTLING STOCKHOLM | Nordic Fusion

Available at Nordic Fusion in solid 18-carat yellow or white gold, these Bend Over Rings are set with emerald cut gemstones with diamonds ‘bent over’ the top facet. 6 ROSEFIELD | Designa Accessories

This iconic Rosefield watch is the latest evolution of The Octagon collection, and features Swarovski crystals, paired back with a polished gold bracelet for an elevated look. 7 STONES & SILVER This new

collection of stackable sterling silver rings showcase the beautiful pink and green hues of the chameleon-like gemstone tourmaline. 8 IKECHO Ikecho's Edison ring features a 9mm freshwater pearl set

into 9-carat yellow gold.

Available at Pandora Concept Stores, Participating Stockists and Pandora.net

10 Years Ago

Time Machine: November 2011

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

Historic Headlines

4 New security system for Angus & Coote

4 Record-breaking blue diamond sold

4 Sydney jeweller wins international award

4 New website for the Young Jewellers Group

4 Leading Edge gives members online presence

New laws to affect jewellers

The proposed commencement date for the new

Personal Property Security (PPS) legislation –

which replace the existing Retention of Title (ROT)

laws – has been delayed until 1 February 2012.

As previously reported by Jeweller, existing ROT

laws concern the protection of unpaid-for stock

sent to stores on consignment. Many suppliers

have ROT clauses built into credit agreements and

invoices, allowing them to retain the title on goods

not yet paid for.

Once implemented, the new laws will force

jewellery suppliers to register security interest on

the PPS website if they wish to preserve title over

stock supplied on consignment.

This is the second time the revised legislation has

been postponed, with its start date slated for 1 May

and then 31 October this year.

New suppliers enter market

The difficult economic climate has not stopped

suppliers entering the Australian and New

Zealand watch and jewellery markets.

Two new entrants include Amakris Jewellery

and Lion Brands. New Zealand-based Amakris

Jewellery recently launched its first range of Holly

Yashi jewellery at this year's Sydney fair and the

company believes the niobium-crafted pieces will

perform well in Australia.

Meanwhile, Luminox Watches, previously

distributed by the now-defunct Swiss Patience,

is to be relaunched in Australia by newly-formed

Lion Brands.

Managing director Graeme Goldman was formerly

the managing director of The Swatch Group. He

and business partner Anthony Hoffman will also

distribute Glycine and Edox watches.

November 2011

ON THE COVER Guess Watches

Editor’s Desk

4Make A (Jewellery )Pilgrimage:“Just as

the international jewellery industry has

evolved, so too have the international

trade fairs, adapting to the shifting

needs of jewellery buyers.

"While the Italian fairs are clearly in the

doldrums, the same cannot be said of

the Swiss' Baselworld, which continues

to go from strength to strength. Indeed,

the organiser is undertaking a massive

renovation of the venue to ensure

Baselworld remains #1."


4The Future of a Traditional

Apprenticeship: “As apprentice

numbers drop, there isn't much

motivation for young people to

undertake a jewellery apprenticeship.

The low award rate is not incentive

enough, which means that young

people can be deterred from pursuing

a career in jewellery.

"Any apprentice-based training

program needs to keep up with

technological advances and the

demands of the modern jeweller."

– Ewen Ryley, jeweller,

Stephen Dibb Jewellery


It's All White Now:

For a long time now, Australian jewellers

have noticed a growing demand for

white metals – stainless steel, silver,

white gold, platinum and increasingly,

titanium and palladium. White metals are

seen as modern, clean, easy to work and

more avant-garde than traditional yellow

gold, especially among younger buyers.

Economics are also shifting in favour of

white metals.

Retailers pressure landlords

over rent

A number of large retailers are urging shopping

centre landlords to reduce rent.

Following the announcement in September of a

fall in profits, Premier Investments – the retail

powerhouse behind fashion clothing brands

including Just Jeans and Jay Jays – threatened

to close as many as 50 stores if shopping

centre landlords don't come to the party on

rent reviews.

Some mid-sizes jewellery chains have already

acted and Wallace Bishop chief financial officer

Ian Winterburn believes that the tables have

already turned for some jewellers.

Innovative new promotion

for engagement rings

Jewellery retailers and their engagement ring

customers can participate in an innovative

new promotion, which calls for customers to

describe their most romantic proposal via the

website mostromanticproposal.com.au.

Graham Chapman, director of Eighth Avenue

Marketing, has secured the assistance of

the JAA and Tahiti Tourism, with the couple

crowned as having the most romantic proposal

winning a holiday to Tahiti valued at $20,000.

To enter, JAA member jewellers must apply on

the website and agree to certain payments and

conditions. Participating jewellers can then

select a winner from their store's customer

submissions, with the overall winner selected

from this pool.



26 | November 2021


Now & Then

Hammerton’s Jewellers

Celebrating 142 Years • MILDURA, VIC • A moment with Ryan Hammerton, director


L to R: The Hammerton's Jewellers store on Eight Street, Mildura, circa 1925; an historic photo of founder

John Hammerton, taken in 1884, which won a photography prize in London in 1885.

Our retail business first commenced in

1879 at 173 Little Ryrie Street, Geelong,

opened by my great-great grandfather,

John Hammerton.

John and his son Horace were highlyregarded

silversmiths, jewellers, and

engravers, with many of their pieces now

housed in museum collections in Melbourne.

The two most prominent items are the

Geelong Mayoral Chain and a solid 15-carat

gold paperweight that was presented to

Dame Nellie Melba in 1922.

The piece was considered to have enormous

significance and was purchased by

Museums Victoria, with the assistance of

the Sunshine Foundation and the Australian

Government’s National Cultural Heritage

Account, for a staggering $130,000.

The relocation from Geelong to Mildura in

1916 is the most substantial change our

business has undertaken in its history.

Horace’s son, Horace Geoffrey ‘Geoff’

Hammerton, took the helm in 1933, and

trained in bench jewellery, engraving,

watchmaking and also as an optician.

Geoff was deployed during World War II

and spent six years away from the store,

helping to develop anti-aircraft equipment.

His wife Florence took over management

during the war and continued working in the

business for decades to come.

Ian, Geoff’s second-eldest son, joined

the business in 1968 as an apprentice

watchmaker. The tiny Eighth Street store

was a beehive of activity, with up to 10 staff!

I joined the business after a few years

pursuing a career with Hewlett Packard, but

ultimately chose to return to our regional

town. My wife Clare and I purchased the

business from my parents in 2007 and set

about refurbishing the store.

Despite our successes, we haven’t pursued

much in the way of expansion outside of

the region. The township is geographically

isolated – 400km from the next-largest

town/city – which doesn’t allow for easy

expansion into other areas.

We purchased one of our competitors’

stores, Etheringtons The Jewellers – which

was established in 1932 – as an opportunity

to differentiate our retail offer in the region.

The depth of range in jewellery in the

modern era was too much for our original

50sqm store and rather than increase the

store size, the ability to present two store

options proved to be a better outcome.

Five years ago, we were also fortunate

enough to acquire a substantial 500sqm

double-storey building next to our Langtree

Mall business, which was built by the former

retailer Thomas Jewellers.

The building design was intended for a

‘cash-and-carry’ approach with over 200sqm

of storage; we have slowly modified it to

better suit our requirements and these areas

will be repurposed as we look to expand our

range of services.

Although I’ve only been involved in the

business for around 20 years, we’ve already

seen a ridiculous number of financial crises,

huge spikes in material costs, aggressive

alternate sales channels, and competitors

entering the market.

In an era where the global pandemic has


John Hammerton

opens jewellery store

Hammerton & Son

on Little Ryrie Street,



John’s son, Horace

Hammerton, opens a

second store named

Hammerton’s Jewellers

on Eighth Street, Mildura,

which incorporates

optical services


Horace’s son, Horace

Geoffrey ‘Geoff’

Hammerton, joins the

business and trains in

each discipline.


Geoff is deployed to fight

in World War II; Florence,

Geoff’s wife, runs the

business for six years


Geoff’s son Ian joins the

business as an apprentice



Ian opens a second

location on Lime Avenue,



The second Mildura

store is migrated to the

Langtree Mall


Ian’s son Ryan joins

the business


Ryan and his wife Clare

purchase the business

from Ian


Ryan closes the original

1916 site and extensively

renovates the Langtree

Mall location


Hammerton’s Jewellers

acquires competitor

Etheringtons The

Jewellers, located on

Deakin Avenue, Mildura


The Hammerton’s

Jewellers store is

migrated into the newlyacquired

former Thomas

Jewellers site on Langtree


Above: Horace and Lillian Hammerton, the

second generation to take over the business.

rocked everyone’s businesses, being

custodian to a 142-year-old business

gives you some clarity over the challenges

that predecessors endured in the past.

Remaining somewhat conservative in your

approach to growth, adhering to better

quality, and maintaining your relationships

with customers and suppliers are critical

aspects to ensure consistency.

It’s an interesting thing to manage a

business that has operated through

five generations.

Each generation has been very different

to the next; we’ve slowly moved from very

traditional bench jewellery through to

focusing on more modern manufacturing

techniques with global capabilities.

It does have the feeling of a family legacy

that’s inescapable – for me, earning

degrees in computer science and

business, and a fledgling career in the

world of IT, wasn’t enough to escape the

pull of something very familiar!

With a rapidly changing landscape I don’t

have an expectation that my children will

follow me into the business.

Like many family business owners, I think

I’ll be averse to relinquishing control,

which will provide them with the freedom

to look into other career paths!

Whether they can secure something as

enjoyable as our industry – or return with

a view to taking over the stores – will

determine the longevity of our business.

Read the full length interview

on Jewellermagazine.com

28 | November 2021

Supplying Australia Since 1974


My Store


MELBOURNE, VIC with Taiba Ash, owner • SPACE COMPLETED 2018

4Who is the target market and how did they

influence the store design?

FinerRings' target market extends to a wide range

of women aged in their early teens all the way to

the older crowd. Our mantra is creating quality,

affordable jewellery for women of any age.

While our store originally started as a temporary

lease, we are still here three years later! It is

a place for people to come shopping, get to

know our brand and understand what FinerRings

is all about.

Our fresh and fun store space is inspired by

the on-trend and timeless, stylish jewellery we

create. This enticing space is appealing to all our

customers – they are greeted with a smile and a

world of design possibilities.

4With the relationship between store

ambience and consumer purchasing in mind,

which features in the store encourage sales?

The warm and bright interior is a relaxing and fun

space for our customers to shop.

The open store design allows customers to peruse

our pieces or get involved in our design process.

Our pieces are customisable, allowing customers

to select exactly what they want in their jewellery.

We pride ourselves on creating quality jewellery

and our customers can enjoy the interactive

experience right before their eyes. Our staff

handmake beautiful pieces, tailored to the

requests of our customers, and this aspect of

FinerRings sets our brand apart from others.

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

Our store is a bright and welcoming space; the

jewellery is displayed on crisp pieces of marble

that hang on our floor-to-ceiling shelves.

The gorgeous arch windows let in an abundance

of afternoon sunlight, creating a warm and

inviting space for customers.

Our friendly staff will assist our customers on

style tips and adding that special touch in every

piece of jewellery, made with love and care.

30 | November 2021

















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Completing my Diploma in

Gemmology has benefited

me as a jeweller in more

ways than I ever expected.

I have always had an interest

in gemstones and found

the course was not only

informative and challenging

but immensely rewarding.

Studying with the GAA has also

allowed me to meet like-minded

people from many facets of the

jewellery industry and grants me access

to resources that I will continue to use

throughout my professional career.

Emma Meakes FGAA

Jeweller, John Miller Design - WA

Diploma in


Enrolments now open

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Gem-Ed Australia


Passionately educating the industry, gem enthusiasts

and consumers about gemstones



Unusual Opals Part III: Ethiopian Opal

L to R: Kimberly McDonald earrings;

Boucheron necklace; Chaumet

bracelet Below: Cartier necklace;

Ornella Ianuzzi ring

While Australia remains the world's

premier supplier of opal – accounting for

approximately 90 per cent of the opal on

the market – significant opal deposits were

discovered in Ethiopia in 1994, 2008 and 2013.

The first discovery was in the Menz Gishe

District of Shewa Province.

Opal from this area occurs in a wide range

of body colours, including brown, red,

orange, yellow, and white. Often marketed

as 'Shewa opal' or 'Mezezo opal', these

opals form in stratified igneous rocks such

as rhyolite, tuff, and ignimbrite.

However, perhaps the most important

Ethiopian opal discovery occurred in 2008,

with a deposit of hydrophane material

located near the town of Wegel Tena in

Wollo Province.

The find consisted of a single seam of

opal, less than 1m thick, sitting within

a rocky cliff overlooking a canyon – an

example of the terrain miners must

navigate to retrieve these gemstones. To

make things even trickier, mining is often

carried out with simple hand tools and

limited safety considerations.

This opal is often known as 'Welo opal'

or simply 'Ethiopian opal'. This region

produces hydrophane opal that is usually

opaque to translucent in white, brown,

orange, and colourless body-colours.

Specimens are also known to display strong

play-of-colour in some specimens and be

similar looking to non-hydrophane material

from Brazil and Australia.

A notable feature of these Ethiopian opals

is the digit pattern – a captivating pattern

across the gem of rounded columns said to

resemble fingers.

The pattern is so well known, it is thought

of as an identifying, though inconclusive,

feature of Ethiopian material. Other

hydrophane producing areas include

Indonesia and the Virgin Valley opal

field in the US.

Like all opal, hydrophane opal is hydrated

silica – but with a unique characteristic, a

level of porosity allowing water and other

liquids to seep in and change the colour and

even the weight of the gemstone.

The absorption by hydrophane opal is

considerable and must be accounted for

when handling and storing.

Common sense would tell us that

material capable of absorbing liquid and

changing so easily should be treated with

caution. The issue here is the fact that

hydrophane is often not disclosed at the

time of transaction.

Given the tendency to change appearance

when immersed, avoid ultrasonic and

steam cleaning of this opal variety – wipe

over with a soft cloth instead.

Other precautions include avoiding

perfumes, hairspray, oils, cleaning agents,

and any other liquids. Much like pearls, the

best rule of thumb is to put hydrophane opal

jewellery on last and take it off first.

To test the presence of this feature in an

opal, bring the opal in contact with a single

Ethiopian Opal

From the country in

which it is found

Colour: Multiple

Found in: Ethiopia

Mohs Hardness: 5–6.5

Class: Silicate

Lustre: Subvitreous

Formula: SiO 2

.nH 2


drop of water while observing it with a hand

lens. Watch how the water interacts with

the gemstone, before testing the refractive

index of the area.

Be patient with the test; you may need

to wait four to five minutes or so to see

the result. This characteristic absorption

property makes them susceptible to being

treated with dyes to change the body colour.

Gemmologists and buyers should be

cautious of treatment in hydrophane opal,

particularly in gemstones with naturallooking

body-colours other than white.

Treated gemstones have been documented

in all kinds of colours, including purple.

A primitive and effective form of treatment

documented is smoke treatment,

commonly applied to hydrophane

specimens in more recent times.

By wrapping gemstones in material such as

newspaper or bark, followed by aluminium

foil, and placing them into a burning fire,

the material is carbonised and produces

a dark body-colour throughout the stone,

resembling valuable black opal.

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.

Visit instagram.com/mikaelah.egan

For more information on gems and

gemmology ,go to www.gem.org.au

November 2021 | 33


Diamond Industry Update



Blessing in disguise

for the industry?

Diamond industry analysts PRANAY NARVEKAR and

CHAIM EVEN ZOHAR share their insights into the ‘pipeline’

from mine to market over 2020 and 2021.

FEATURE | Diamond Industry Update

Twenty-twenty always had a nice ring to it,

and in the runup to it, many entities, both

companies and international bodies drew up

their vision statements. However, 2020 turned out to

be quite the contrary and will be remembered for a

long time for all the wrong reasons.



The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting actions taken to

tackle the same had an indelible impact on the way we live

and work, while proving to be a shock to the entire global

financial and economic system.

The world economy as well as the diamond pipeline faced a

sudden stop around March 2020, as the COVID-19 infections

spread, and governments-imposed lockdowns of various

types. However, the recovery seemed to be equally quick

at least for the industry, though not simultaneously in all


In most retail markets, sales seemed to match those of the

previous year within about four to six months, and in some

cases continued to grow from strength to strength. In the

mining areas, COVID challenges impacted production and

distribution, causing additional pipeline incongruities.

It is instructive to take a quick look at how the US retail sales

for the industry rebounded. The US accounts for half of the

industry sales and the retail market bounced back quickly

and continued its stellar performance even into 2021.

The one thing that didn’t bounce in the US were the 169

million stimulus checks, totalling $US395 billion, which

the Internal Revenue Service has sent out to US taxpayers

whether they needed it or not.

The new Biden Administration passed already the American

Rescue Plan Act of 2021, providing $US1.9 trillion in funding,

program changes and tax policies to help mitigate the

effects of the pandemic, which means that the bonanza in

the US retail markets will solidly continue throughout the

current year, irrespective of any COVID-variant.

While most analysis looks at this from a year-on-year

percentage perspective, it is instructive to view these sales

from a longer-term view, as given the low base in 2020, some

of the year-on-year percentages might look extremely high.


Pandemic and

the Pipeline


polished diamond

sales, in US Dollars,

for 2021



consumption of

jewellery and

watches, US

consumers, 2021


increase in midstream


sales, in dollar terms,

for 2021 compared to



proportion of

overall rough

diamond sales,

in dollar terms,

attributable to

De Beers and Alrosa

The US Bureau of Economic Affairs provides seasonally

adjusted consumption expenditures for jewellery and

indexing the same to December 2017 illustrates just how

massive this jump in consumption is for the industry (see

Chart A over page).

This kind of jump in retail demand is quite frankly

unprecedented! It pains to admit that COVID-19 turned

out to be a blessing in disguise for the diamond business

because nothing is worth the human suffering that the

pandemic has brought.

We are also careful not to talk, as is very popular at the

moment, about the ‘new normal’. Nothing is normal at the

moment – and analysts are making fortunes conjecturing

how the world’s economy and businesses will evolve.

We are also careful not to talk, as is

very popular at the moment, about

the ‘new normal’. Nothing is normal

at the moment – and analysts are

making fortunes conjecturing

how the world’s economy and

businesses will evolve. ”

We are not joining these prophets. We know that in a

normal year an increase in high single digits is sufficient

to energise the entire industry.

To put this in perspective, the last time we saw a rapid

increase in percentage terms was in early 2011. During

that period, this same US index would have shown an

increase of 12 per cent over a four-to-six-month period, a

far cry from the 40-50 per cent increases.

It should be noted that the 2011 surge was also driven by

a serious rise in jewellery consumption in the rest of the

world and especially China.

Over the last many years, the authors have repeatedly

highlighted the fact that the industry was losing its share

of wallet. Consumers seemed to have lost interest in the

category as the pace of innovation seemed to be slow,

November 2021 | 35

Diamond Industry Update | FEATURE


Source: Bureau of Economic

Analysis, US Department of


compared to other areas like electronics

and gadgets.

The meagre marketing efforts of the industry

through various bodies looked like trying to

slow the decline, rather than aggressively

increase the market.

The last six months have suddenly dispelled

the gloom and the future for the entire industry

suddenly looks much brighter!

This has an immediate impact on the entire

pipeline. As the retail pull-through increases and

more jewellery gets sold, jewellers start to place

replacement orders, which ripple through the

entire pipeline, leading to better prices in polished,

a financially healthier mid-stream, as well as

finally showing up in the rough demand.

The current scenario for the industry seems like

a blessing to everyone, something which was

unimaginable 12 months ago, when we were in

the depths of the pandemic, with widespread

lockdowns across the globe.

The question on everyone’s mind is whether this

is just another flash in the pan or whether the

industry has found its ‘mojo’ again. What we know

for sure is that COVID-19 has not lost its mojo – it’s

fighting the vaccines and developing more lethal

variants continuously.

On a governmental level the stimulus injections

have triggered global governmental debts to some

$US281 trillion by the end of 2020 – and climbing.

Out of fear of a loss of faith in currencies, the

International Monetary Fund and other global

financial institutions consider this debt to be

‘sustainable’ and there is room for continued growth.

But how long can one live in a land of fools?

Diamonds may again, and maybe with more

conviction than ever, become not just an inflation

hedge but rather a sure (and rare) source of

sustainable wealth. The pandemic can lead the

world still into very unexplored paths.

Retail in 2020

Let’s stick to the known facts; 2020 was projected

to be a year of revival for the industry, which

went through a tough period in 2018-2019, when

demand reduced and retail destocking added to the

industry woes.

Good sales during the 2019 season provided the

tailwinds to the industry and 2020 began at a brisk

pace, until the uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis

started creeping in.

As the main markets across the world started

introducing lockdowns to curb the health crisis,

retail sales started dropping, with the Chinese

market facing the first wave followed by all the

major markets.

The US, which had a relatively mild lockdown,

saw retail sales dropping to half in April, while

markets like China, India and the EU probably had

greater drops.

Surprisingly, retail markets rebounded quickly as the

lockdowns were removed. The US, which accounts

for half of the retail diamond sales, saw year-on-year

sales crossing that of the previous year by June. This

meant that the impact on sales were mainly felt in

the first and second quarters only.

The Chinese market also showed a sparkling

recovery especially in the Mainland China region,

although it is still dealing with the loss of business

in the Hong Kong market, due to travel restrictions

as well as the political climate. The Indian market

too rebounded, but a little more slowly, as the

lockdowns were longer with gold jewellery getting

a bigger boost.

As stores shut down, there were serious liquidity

concerns faced by the retail stores. This was

especially true of stores which had leased their

premises, as this contributed to a significant

cost element.

In the US, the prompt government aid package did

help businesses to keep afloat by getting access to

loans to finance their operations as well as other

subsidies. Other countries also rolled out business

rescue packages.

Businesses were also able to renegotiate some

of their lease payments with the landlords while

also reducing some of their other operating costs,

which helped them get through the crisis. This was

evident in the fact that there was no undue spike in

bankruptcies and store closures.

During the peak of the lockdowns, there were

delays in payments to suppliers, but the quick

rebound in sales meant that the businesses were

able to generate liquidity fairly quickly by running

down some of their inventories and catching up on

their payments.

The surge in retail sales during the latter

part of the year, coupled with the operational

improvements, also means that retail businesses

are seeing some of their best operational

performance in years.

This trend has been further reinforced in the

current year and most retail businesses currently

are enjoying healthy balance sheets, as compared

to previous years.

Overall the global retail sales were down about

14.5 per cent and clocked in at about $US65 billion,

close to the most optimistic estimates for the year!

Midstream crisis and renewal

At the beginning of 2020, the mid-stream was on

course to meet the higher demand predicted for

that year.

The mid-stream had tightened their businesses

and had de-stocked by October of 2019 and from

then on, the restocking cycle had started. The

first two-to-three months of 2020 reinforced this

restocking cycle, until the pandemic hit the midstream

in late March.

The mid-stream suffered on multiple fronts from

the pandemic. The near sudden stop to retail sales

meant that the polished diamond orders and sales

dried up almost immediately.

36 | November 2021

FEATURE | Diamond Industry Update




Source: Bureau of Economic

Analysis, US Department of


With retail stores under lockdown and

delayed payments, cash flows also

started to become major issues.

The situation was compounded by

the strict lockdowns imposed in India

to fight COVID-19.

Mid-stream sales were also dependent

on buyers travelling to trading centres

to inspect and buy the required polished


With global travel bans, this meant that

a large part of the buying activity came to

a standstill, at least until buyers worked

out arrangements with the sellers.

The Indian polishers have always come

together in difficult times, and 2020 was

no different. They decided to go in for

a voluntary moratorium on buying of

rough, which was largely in effect from

April to July.

During this period India as a whole

imported only about 15 per cent of rough

which it would have otherwise imported.

The Indian industry’s hand was, in a

manner of speaking, forced because

factories were either shut down, or were

operating at low levels due to distancing

norms as well a large chunk of the

labour force having moved back to the

villages during the lockdowns.

Hence, even if companies wanted to

produce diamonds, their capacities

were severely limited. Coupled with the

liquidity pressures from the banks, it

made prudent sense to go easy on the

rough purchases.

This move was opposed by the large

rough producers, who called for the

industry to “work together” through

the crisis, as this step meant that

they registered almost no sales in the

second quarter.

Incidentally, in later sponsored industry

reports this was glossed over.

Producers were praised as to how their

“response at the start of the COVID-19

crisis helped mid-stream players

weather the worst of the storm”w by

cancelling sales and allowing clients

to postpone rough purchases.

Talk about making a virtue out of a


However, in retrospect, it does look like

it helped the industry get on its feet

much faster.

It is illuminating to see how the

estimated rough stocks in India as a

whole moved over the past two years.

As mentioned, October 2019 was the

end of the destocking cycle, and we can

consider that to be the ‘zero line’ and

look at the stocks (see Chart B).

As can be seen, by March 2020, stocks

had nearly risen to their 2019 peak, in

anticipation of the 2020 sales, before

dropping during the moratorium period.

These again started climbing, and seem

to have reached the peak levels again.

The health of the mid-stream is

determined by the polishing profitability

and, more critically, diamond prices.

Typical polishing margins in the

businesses are in the low single digits

and hence a 10 per cent drop in stock

price can wipe out years of business


The rough moratorium helped the

mid-stream ensure that the liquidity

pressures were limited, as there was

no rough, and no stock, to be financed.

This, in turn, reduced the pressure on

companies to have to sell at any cost

– ensuring that the price of polished


Mined Over




carats of diamond

produced by De

Beers in 2020



carats of diamond

produced by

Alrosa in 2020


number of months

Indian industry

implemented a

rough moratorium

in 2020


rough diamond

sales, in US


for 2021

[goods] did not crash when the market

was illiquid, preventing a serious balance

sheet crisis for the mid-stream.

As the retail sales grew from strength to

strength, replenishment orders started

filtering through.

The Indian mid-stream had destocked

sufficiently by August and started buying

rough to ramp up their production to meet

the ongoing sales demand.

With large rough producers following a

price-versus-volume strategy, the offtake

started a little slower, before picking up


The mid-stream managed to sell about

$US14.2 billion of polished, or about

20.7 per cent below 2019 sales, despite

2019 itself being considered a lousy year

for retail.

Mid-stream deleveraging

As mentioned, stock prices can make

or break the balance sheet of the midstream,

and the actions by the mid-stream

ensured that the price drop remained

within an acceptable level.

The retail surge also meant that by the

end of the year, overall diamond prices

were almost at par with those at the end

of 2019, if not higher – a remarkable

achievement, considering the chaos of the

second quarter!

As with retail, the mid-stream too

brought in additional efficiencies into

their operations, including pruning of the

workforce as well as reducing travel and

marketing expenses.

This was certainly helped by the fact

that industry shows and events could

simply not be held due to the COVID-19

restrictions in place.

November 2021 | 37

Diamond Industry Update | FEATURE


Source: Bureau of Economic

Analysis, US Department of


Jewellery and watches

Durable goods

Nondurable goods

Financial Services, Insurance & Non-profits

Personal consumption expenditures

Housing, Utilities, Healthcare & Other Services

Food, Accommodation & Personal Care Services

Transportation, Recreation & Personal Care Services

The pickup of polished demand also allowed the

mid-stream to destock. During the destocking

process, as inventories are liquidated, bank

lines are repaid, leading companies to reduce

their borrowing.

Our estimates show that the industry was able

to reduce its borrowing by nearly 20 per cent

during the course of the year, driven by a neverbefore-seen

combination of destocking and better

profitability – in the second half – with almost no

stock loss being booked!

We believe that the industry leverage is probably at

the lowest level – even better than what it was at

the end of 2011, which was the standout year for

the industry in recent memory.

As a result of the destocking, rough sales by

miners dropped by about 36.7 per cent and

clocked in at about $US9.37 billion for the year.

Rough producers – saved by the bell?

Producers had weathered a rough 2019, as the

mid-stream deleveraged and rough purchases

dropped to the lowest level in a decade.

With good sales recorded in the 2019 season, rough

diamond sales were looking up and rough producers

were looking to make up lost ground, until the

pandemic struck them hard by mid-March.

As mid-stream ground to a standstill, and the Indian

moratorium kicked in, almost no rough was sold

for about two to three months. For a few producers

who were already facing serious headwinds and

profitability issues in 2019, as well as those with a

high leverage, this proved to be the final straw.

They had to go in for temporary mine closures as

well and also rework their financing agreements.

This forced these mines to stop production for an

extended time during the year, at least until they

were able to do the necessary restructuring.

In a way, this forced reduction of supply eased the

pressure on the two leading players to

cut production.

Among the larger producers, generally most of

the mines were able to operate, except for short

periods if COVID-19 cases were detected in a

specific mine.

While they continued to operate at slightly lower

production levels, the impact of lower production

was mainly limited to Q2.

The mid-stream actions in Q2, lifting of lockdowns

and the sustained consumer demand in the second

half of the year significantly revived the diamond

markets, and secondary market box premiums by

end of 2020 – and continuing into 2021 – provided

testament to the enhanced rough demand.

Interestingly, the two leading producers seem to

have taken a contrasting view on their production

strategies during the year.

De Beers produced about 25 million carats, while

selling about 20 million carats during the year,

and stockpiling the remaining production. A major

chunk of this stockpile has been sold down during

the first quarter of 2021.

Alrosa, on the other hand, came into 2020 with

a sizeable stockpile from 2019 and for 2020

produced only about 30 million carats while

selling about 32 million carats, meaning that

they actually were able to reduce their stockpile

during a year of rough sales!

It shows that Alrosa was quicker on the gun,

and decided to prioritise sales in the latter half

of 2020. Alrosa was able to get within breathing

distance of De Beers’ rough sales for 2020, with

the last four months of 2020 accounting for about

55 per cent of the sales for the year!

A look at projected production shows that Alrosa

is forecasting production to be lower than De

Beers, which seems inexplicable, especially given

that Alrosa rough sells at a lower price and that

they generally produce about 30 per cent more

than De Beers.

The lower projected production has the potential

to destabilise rough prices in certain categories

of rough in 2021, but we believe that Alrosa will

significantly increase their production target for

the year, as they do have the spare capacity for

the same.

Lab-grown story – growing into its own market

Lab-grown diamonds are an integral element of

the diamond pipeline, at least at the retail level.

While there might be some overlap between

the polishing as well as polished and jewellery

wholesale areas, these are still distinguishable.

At the retail side, while there might be a few

exclusive outlets or websites, generally lab-grown

diamonds are starting to find a foothold in a larger

chunk of the jewellery stores, at least in the US,

where the category is the most mature.

The lab-grown retail market is still very much in

its teenage growth years, with many brands trying

to establish themselves. Competition is still about

market penetration and spreading the distribution

across the markets, along with filling the pipeline.

It is to be seen how many survive over the next five

years. While the retail growth shows promise, it still

is very much a stocking demand.

Overall, lab-grown diamonds grew in market share

during the year, simply because their demand is

primarily dependent on the US and did not drop as

much as that for natural diamonds.

The technology is showing signs of maturing,

with quality differences in the products

narrowing. At the current stage, the ‘patent wars’

in the lab-grown industry are being fought, with

all parties trying to get a competitive advantage

over their competitors.

De Beers had a mixed victory over IIA

Technologies in Singapore early last year, while

recently WD Lab-Grown Diamonds lost a lawsuit

against Fenix in the US.

The bulk of the rough lab-grown diamond

production continues to come from the

HPHT [high-pressure, high-temperature]

38 | November 2021

FEATURE | Diamond Industry Update

TACY’S 2020 - 2021









November 2021 | 39

Diamond Industry Update | FEATURE

process, dominated by the Chinese

industrial producers.

The bulk of the value comes in from

the CVD [chemical vapour deposition]

production, which gives better and larger

stones, and that production is more

widespread, with capacities being set up

in India at a fast clip.

Industry performance sustainable?

There is no doubt that the industry has

performed spectacularly at a retail

level over the past six months and is

witnessing one of the best periods for

the industry. In June, many traders were

reporting that they had never been as

busy as they currently were.

Our current favourite indicator for midstream

activity and health is undoubtedly

the backlog at the grading laboratories.

A longer delay signifies increased activity

levels in the mid-stream, and even on

that count, the industry seems to be

doing swimmingly!

However, there is a difference of opinion

in the industry. On one hand there is

unbridled optimism with claims of the

industry outperforming others and that it

has been able to better engage with the

customers and even attract Millennials

during the crisis.

On the other side, we have other industry

leaders and media saying that this is a

flash in the pan and the market will slow

down going forward.

Even the leading retailers in the US have

struck a cautious tone about future sales,

despite record-setting numbers in the

first half of 2021.

To understand whether we, as an

industry, have truly outperformed, we can

once again look at the US market data

from the US Bureau of Economic Affairs

(see Chart C).

In analysing any data, the inherent

seasonality of any demand proves to be a

challenge, as the annual pattern of each

industry varies. However, the seasonallyadjusted

consumption expenditures data

does this for us and is a useful gauge

of how the personal consumption has

changed over the period.

What we would specifically like to do

is to compare the jewellery industry

performance with that of other goods

and services. We have grouped together

some services for it to better reflect the

comparison and impact of the pandemic.

The data has been presented at a

quarterly level so as to damp out any

monthly fluctuations, and focus on the

overall trends.

There are some interesting observations

which can be made on the trends:

• The pandemic and the resultant

lockdowns to contain it affected

overall movement and activity in the

economy, which is visible in the dip

in the second quarter.

Currently the personal consumption

index is about 10 per cent above

that of the 2019 Q1 baseline.

• As we all know, the service

industries were most affected by the

lockdowns and travel restrictions,

and these include transportation,

recreation, personal care, food, and

accommodation services.

• Housing, utilities, healthcare and

other services have held steady

during this period. These are the

basic requirements and would be

expected to do so.


Key Points




Major producers

are focusing on

sales, with lower





A moratorium

in 2020

allowed stock

clearing and


with activity

picking up once



retail boom

Jewellery has


strongly at the

retail level,

boosted by



and lack of


Slow return

to normality



patterns are

likely to return

to a baseline

in two to three


This block accounts for 40 per cent

of the overall personal consumption

expenditure in the economy.

• While non-durable goods have shown

a good increase, durable goods have by

far outperformed other categories of


US consumers seem to have a newfound

love for acquiring physically

durable products.

While the jewellery category does stand out

as the best performer in this chart, it is to be

noted that the industry’s performance is in line

with that of other durable goods.

If you dig down deeper into the data, you will

find categories like motor vehicles – a much

larger industry – have outperformed jewellery.

Even other industries of comparable size – be

it sporting equipment, guns and ammunition

or sports and recreational vehicles – have

performed better than our industry.

Clearly, while the industry is among the better

performers, it is simply part of the ‘gold rush’

of consumers as they spend on acquiring

durable goods.

It can be argued that consumers, who had

saved from not spending on the services

mentioned above – as well as buoyed by

the handouts provided by the government –

channelled a large chunk of their excess funds

into buying the physical durable which they

had longed for but had not been able to buy.

Additionally, the wealth effect of the stock

market boom, fuelled by government stimulus

and ultra-loose monetary policy, also helped

loosen the consumer purse strings.

This also makes sense because durable goods

are generally more expensive, last much longer,

and have a utility value over their lifetime.

There is no doubt that diamonds and

40 | November 2021

Natural Coloured


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

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

S u p p l i e r o f :

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

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

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

Recent history has taught

us that the best prediction

for the end of a boom cycle

is clearly a sharp increase in

prices and euphoria in the

rough market – though we are

not there yet! In our industry,

a good year always sets the

stage for the next year’s


07 3003 1788


jewellery have more of an emotional element in

their purchase decision. During a crisis, and the

pandemic is no different, humans do look for

emotional connection and jewellery is simply a

beautiful way to express it.

It is natural that couples who have been stuck at

home during the last year have bought jewellery to

express their love!

The return to normalcy is not going to be a

sudden one, unlike the onset of the pandemic.

As vaccinations across the globe are slowly rolled

out, businesses will gradually revert back to the

previous behaviour over the course of the next

two to three years.

As disposable income reduces with travel and

other areas becoming prominent again, and the

experiential luxury market gradually increases,

the share of the wallet will again shift out of the

jewellery category – something which the industry

should not give up without a fight.

A similar trajectory is playing out in other major

markets like China and India as well as other

luxury categories.

Consumers are spending their excess disposable

income on these categories and it would take two to

three years for the market to reach the ‘new normal’.

Looking forward

The authors had, in the 2019 pipeline article,

mentioned that 2021 would be a very good year

for the industry, with rough and polished sales

expected to between the 2018 and 2019 levels.

The sustained retail boom in the first half

has meant that the performance is likely to

be even better, barring any sudden crash of

world economies.

We expect that the polished sales for the industry

would clock in at about $US20–21 billion, while the

rough sales should come in around $US17 billion,

with De Beers and Alrosa accounting for about

$US10–11 billion.

It is likely that the current market euphoria will

continue into Q4, before quieting down by the end

of the year.

While this much is clear, prices on the other

hand, are a representation of the demand-supply

mismatch. With a healthy demand and an absence

of supply, prices would, per force, rise.

In the initial phase of every upcycle, prices remain

stable, as producers run down their stockpiles to

meet demand.

We are currently in the latter phase of the cycle,

wherein most producers would have exhausted

their built-up supplies, and the increased demand

would directly reflect in the prices.

Recent history has taught us that the best

prediction for the end of a boom cycle is clearly a

sharp increase in prices and euphoria in the rough

market – though we are not there yet!

In our industry, a good year always sets the stage

for the next year’s underperformance.

Traditional wisdom has it that when the going is

good, strap in and get ready to ride the rollercoaster,

because 2022 will be a different story!

In a market where producers still can manipulate

the supply and demand fundamentals, the

pandemic remains fully out of control – in spite of

governmental assurances stating otherwise.

This is an edited version of an article that was first

published by IDEX Online in August 2021, and is reproduced

with permission. Visit idexonline.com.

CHAIM EVEN-ZOHAR is a retired consultant

to the diamond industry and the former editor

of the Israel Diamond Exchange’s Diamond

Intelligence Briefs. PRANAY NARVEKAR is

director of Pharos Beam Consulting, a firm

providing analysis and insights into the supply,

financing, and structure of the diamond industry.



Super-Deep Diamonds

Uncovering secrets of the


per-Deep Diamonds


New research from Curtin University has revealed clues about Earth’s ancient

history – all locked within ultra-rare diamonds, writes DR LUC DOUCET.

Diamonds are said to be forever, and it seems

the secrets they contain about the history of

the Earth are also endless.

However, not all diamonds are alike; there are three main

types – lithospheric, oceanic, and super-deep continental.

Most diamonds formed in the most ancient continental

lithosphere – the outermost, rigid layer of Earth – between

150–300km from the surface.

These are known as lithospheric diamonds, and they form in

relatively stable environments, harvesting ambient carbon.

But not all diamonds form in this way. A relatively tiny portion

of all mined diamonds – approximately 1 per cent – originate

from the deep mantle of the Earth, located down to 1,000km

below the surface.

Recent research conducted by the Earth Dynamics Research

Group at Curtin University in Western Australia, published

by the journal Nature, discovered that diamonds found in

oceanic rocks and super-deep continental diamonds share

a common origin.

They are made of organic carbon – that is, former living

organisms that have effectively been ‘recycled’ – deep within

the Earth’s mantle.

Bringing new meaning to the old ‘trash-to-treasure’ adage,

this research discovered that the Earth’s ‘engine’ turns

organic carbon into diamonds many hundreds of kilometres

below the surface.

The Cullinan

The Great Star of Africa



Going Deep


depth at which


diamonds form


carat weight of

the super-deep

Cullinan diamond



of Earth's

diamonds that

are super-deep

Super-deep diamond formation is linked to the plate tectonic

processes that make our planet unique in the Solar System.

Carbon capture

The term ‘plate tectonics’ may be familiar to some from high

school science classes; essentially, the lithosphere is made

up of moving plates that shift and collide against each other.

Because of the tremendous force of mantle convection,

oceanic tectonic plates sink back into Earth’s mantle

underneath another plate in what we call the ‘subduction

zone’. When a plate is subducted, it carries with it all the

material needed to form diamonds.

This includes carbon from the rocks and from formerly living

things – the organic matter. At around 400km below the

surface, the subducted tectonic plate will enter the Earth’s

mantle’s ‘transition zone’.

In this place, pressure and temperature conditions allow

the formation of metallic melt, from which the super-deep

diamonds will form.

It is also a mystery as to why diamonds formed in the

transition zone utilise only recycled organic carbon – this

may be linked to the physical and chemical environment.

So, how do we discover them?

Both super-deep diamonds and lithospheric diamonds

are brought up to the surface during small but very

powerful eruptions.

Ballooning hot rocks, known as mantle plumes, rise from

deep in the mantle, transporting the diamonds to the surface

48 | November 2021




Approximately 99 per cent

of the world's diamonds are

lithospheric, while less than

1 per cent are super-deep

and 0.1 per cent are oceanic.

Lithospheric – 99%

Super-Deep – 0.90%


Oceanic – 0.10%

Oceanic – 0.10%

Super-Deep – 0.90%

Lithospheric – 99%




Super-Deep Diamonds

Scientific terminology in diamond formation

CARBON CYCLE – The shifting of the element carbon

between different ‘reservoirs’ on Earth – rocks, soil, ocean,

and atmosphere, plants – through chemical reactions and

tectonic activity

KIMBERLITIC ERUPTION – Catastrophic explosions

in the Earth's mantle which transport super-deep and

lithospheric diamonds to the surface

LITHOSPHERIC DIAMONDS – Diamonds that form in the

continental lithosphere – the outermost, rigid layer of Earth

– between 150–300km from the surface, from ambient

carbon; they are by far the most abundant diamonds

MANTLE PLUME – The ballooning heated rocks in the

mantle that create kimberlitic eruptions

METALLIC MELT – Pockets of molten metallic liquid –

comprised of iron and nickel, among other elements – that

occur deep in the Earth’s mantle, in which large, Cullinanlike

diamonds form

OCEANIC DIAMONDS – Diamonds that form as a result of

plate tectonics, subducting the ocean floor and its carbon

and other minerals into the mantle

SUBDUCTION – The process whereby Earth’s tectonic

plates collide and sink back into the mantle underneath

another plate

SUPER-DEEP DIAMONDS – Diamonds that form

very deep in the Earth’s mantle, around 400km below

the surface; less than 1 per cent of diamonds are superdeep


TRANSITION ZONE – The area deep within Earth’s

mantle in which pressure and temperature conditions allow

the formation of metallic melt, from which the super-deep

diamonds form

in catastrophic explosions known as kimberlitic eruptions.

Those familiar with diamond formation will recognise the term

‘kimberlite’, which refers to the diamond-rich channels made by

these eruptions.

Dazzling diamonds

Intriguingly, the rarest and largest diamonds are believed to be

of super-deep origin.

These diamonds are often described as ‘Cullinan-like’, named

after the largest diamond ever discovered – the Cullinan diamond,

which weighed 3,106 carats. It was discovered by Thomas Evan

Powell on 26 January 1905 at the Premier Mine in South Africa.

Cullinan-like diamonds have metallic inclusions with

compositions that support the processes involved in the

formation of super-deep diamonds.

So far, mines containing super-deep diamonds have been

identified as the most productive globally, with South Africa

and Brazil the main producers of super-deep diamonds.

Other locations might bear super-deep diamonds, but they

have not been discovered yet.

Unlocking Earth’s secrets

An even rarer type of diamonds is the oceanic type. These

diamonds share similarities with super-deep diamonds and

formed when the oceanic crust crashed into the continental


The comparative study of both super-deep and oceanic diamonds

indicates that carbon from dead organisms seems to be the

primary source of carbon, suggesting that the deep carbon

cycles are closely linked to the surface carbon cycles.

The super-deep and oceanic diamonds are the sole samples we

have from deep within the Earth and give us invaluable information

on what is happening hundreds to thousands of kilometres below

our feet. So far, studies on these diamonds demonstrate that

Earth’s interior is wetter than expected and that surface material,

including organic matter, has been recycled deep in the mantle.

The fundamental question that remains to be answered is, when

does it start? This question will keep scientists busy for the years

to come.

While recycling is becoming a modern-day necessity for our

sustainable survival, we were particularly surprised to learn,

through this research, that Mother Nature has been showing

us how to recycle with style for billions of years.

This research helps us to understand Earth’s carbon cycle and

could provide the key to even more secrets of the Earth’s history;

by mapping the distribution of continental and oceanic diamonds,

we can potentially identify the past locations of mantle plumes and


The Curtin University Earth Dynamics Research Group's study

of super-deep diamonds, 'Oceanic and super-deep continental

diamonds share a transition zone origin and mantle plume

transportation', was published in the journal Nature Scientific

Report in August 2021. Visit: geodynamics.curtin.edu.au/research/


18ct Diamond & Precious Coloured Gemstone Jewellery


DR LUC DOUCET is a research fellow at the Earth Dynamics

Research Group of Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia. He

and his team reconstruct the geodynamic processes that made the

Earth the way it is today. Visit: geodynamics.curtin.edu.au

Daniel Jacuk - 0412 071 103


SCIENTIFIC REPORT | Super-Deep Diamonds


The diagram below indicates how the subduction process occurs,

dragging tectonic plates back into the mantle. Metallic melt forms in the

transition zone, while super-deep diamonds form in the lower mantle.

Diagram provided by Dr. Luc Doucet


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November 2021 | 53


Watch Industry Review




MARTIN FOSTER details the return to face-to-face fairs

amid a distorted post-COVID watch-buying environment.


FEATURE | Watch Industry Review


Watch the Numbers



e have followed the ups and downs

of Australia’s COVID-19 politics as

we watched the rest of the world

twist and turn under the insidious influences

of the Delta strain during the pandemic.

It seems that hospitality and entertainment have been

the big losers as they rely on customers coming in and

sitting down for lunch or dinner or attending live events

and trade exhibitions.

As we know, it is this very form of business that logically

suffers from lockdowns, which prevent in-person

attendance and reduce retail ‘foot-traffic’.

In contrast, the extraordinary performance of the watch

industry shows another side to the lockdown coin.

Sales figures indicate that consumers at the top of the

market were largely unaffected by the rules and

restrictions – they simply had to find a different way

to dispense their buying power.

There are many examples to illustrate this point.

Industry media has reported Rolex and Tudor sales in

the UK and Ireland generated sales of £468 million

($AU867.7 million), up from £415 million ($AU769.4

million), an increase of 13 per cent even during the

lockdown chaos.

As an example of unbridled insanity and excess funds

was the auction of a newly-released Patek Philippe

model – a factory-sealed olive-green Nautilus – which

was sold in April by Antiquorum in Monaco.

The nominated retail price of $AU48,000 was utterly

dwarfed by the auction sale, which was a staggering

$AU650,000 including buyer’s premium.

Bidders online and in the saleroom refused to back

down until the price nudged half a million US dollars.

That was just one example! Research, conducted by

retail analytics firm GfK, also reveals other distortions

in the watch market.

Total watch sales value in the UK in August for models


Rolex and Tudor

sales in the UK

and Ireland, 2021

– an increase of

13 per cent


watch brands

presenting at

the independent

WatchPro Salon

in London in

November 2021


attendees at

September's Hong

Kong Watch & Clock

Fair, including

members of the



auction price

realised for Patek

Philippe Nautilus,

April 2021 – more

than seven times its

retail price


increase in average

prices of watches

purchased in the UK

between September

2020 and August 2021

priced at £500–1,000 ($AU925 –1,851) fell by 7 per cent

– but increased by 31 per cent for models priced at

£5,000–10,000 ($AU9,257–18,515), and saw a stunning

rise of 19 per cent for timepieces priced at more than

£10,000 ($AU18,515).

Overall, average prices rose by more than 61 per cent for

the 12-month period from September 2020 to August 2021

as customers actively sought more expensive watches.

GfK’s research reported that for July 2021 alone, the total

value of watch sales in Great Britain was 34 per cent

higher than in the same month in 2019.

We may safely observe that

there is unrestrained wealth at

the top of the market burning

holes in the pockets of buyers

who suffer no budgetary cares –

and the watch industry is happily

celebrating the bonus”

Swatch Group – which includes brands such as

Omega, Tissot, Breguet, and Longines, among others

– went against the trend with a 39 per cent revenue

decline in 2020.

However, this was of its own doing and partly a result

of the unsettled restructuring of its UK operations.

The Swatch result is an exception, and we may safely

observe that there is unrestrained wealth at the top of the

market burning holes in the pockets of buyers who suffer

no budgetary cares – and the watch industry is happily

celebrating the bonus.

Return of the fairs

Christophe Claret

In the meantime, the physical fairs are starting to reemerge

as the online promotional meetings of the last

year achieved an unenviable result – the highest-ever

boredom ratings!

November 2021 | 55

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Above: Exhibitors and visitors at EPHJ 2021


11 – 14 February 2022 Inhorgenta Munich Messe München, Munich, Germany

30 March – 5 April 2022 Watches & Wonders Geneva Palexpo, Geneva, Switzerland

31 March – 4 April 2022 Baselworld Messe Basel, Basel, Switzerland

8 –11 June 2022 EPHJ - EPMT - SMT Palexpo, Geneva, Switzerland

6 –10 September 2022 Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair HKCEC, Hong Kong

Contrary to some industry declarations, digitalonly

presentations are not “the way ahead” at

all, and the sooner that physical fairs reestablish

their presence, the better the quality

of the review material for the press, agents and

buyers alike.

Rob Corder, co-founder and editor of the

UK industry publication WatchPro, has

been a staunch advocate for events

where watch lovers can indulge their

passion in the company of the world’s

most exceptional watchmakers.

He wrote earlier this year, “Zoom and webinars

are a necessary but appalling substitute for live

events like Baselworld, Watches & Wonders,

and boutique shows in the most important

markets like the UK, US, and Germany.”

In support of his own stated views, WatchPro

has scheduled its own Salon event from 12–13

November at the five-star Londoner Hotel on

Leicester Square.

Japan’s Grand Seiko and more than 20 smallyet-established

quality brands in attendance.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Watch and Clock

Fair (HKW&CF) – a joint exposition of the Watch

& Clock Fair and Salon de TE, by far the largest

of the fairs in normal times – opened on 12


The five-day physical event attracted

approximately 4,900 industry buyers and

more than 23,600 public visitors to shop

for timepieces.

The last COVID-free year for which foot traffic

information is available was 2018, when

attendance totalled 21,000 buyers for 830

exhibitors from 25 countries and regions.

The fair’s organiser, the Hong Kong Trade

Development Council, has good reason to be

pleased with this slightly increased attendance

in this difficult year.

More than 12,000 people

attended EPHJ during

the four days of the show,

where 530 exhibitors

were showcased from 13

countries, representing

watchmaking and


Boosting this attendance was the decision to,

for the first time, open the HKW&CF to the

public for the full period of the fair.

An online version of the HKW&CF was also

launched for the first time this year and ran

until 19 September.

Benjamin Chau, deputy executive director of

the HKTDC, said, “The Watch & Clock Fair and

Salon de TE returned as special editions this

year to help generate business opportunities

for industry players.

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Above L to R: Baselworld 2021; Watches & Wonders 2021; Jaquet Droz watch

“Opening the five-day fairs to the public for the first

time also provided an excellent opportunity for watch

and clock traders to reach out to retail customers

and boost the industry’s retail businesses.”

He added, “According to our on-site survey, public

visitors who were interviewed spent an average of

$HK1,059 [$AU183] per person at the fairs.”

Precision watchmaking equipment show, EPHJ in

Geneva, returned with its first live exhibition since

2019 as the pandemic receded in Europe and brands

and buyers returned to in-person events.

More than 12,000 people attended EPHJ during

the four days of the show, where 530 exhibitors

were showcased from 13 countries, representing

watchmaking and microtechnology.

This figure was, understandably, down from 20,000

attendees and 800 exhibitors in 2019.

Jeweller previously reported the successful Watches

& Wonders (W&W) Geneva online edition in April

2021 – its second online-only event in as many years

– as well as its physical W&W Shanghai show, held

immediately afterwards.

W&W Geneva is now confirmed to take place in

2022 in both physical and digital formats, via the

watchandwonders.com platform and at the Palexpo

exhibition centre from 30 March–5 April.

And speaking of Swiss fairs, one cannot ignore

Geneva Watch Days.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic and the collapse

of Baselworld, Geneva Watch Days was founded in

2020 as an independent fair, spearheaded by the


In Summary

High-end of the market

shows robust results

Sales throughout the pandemic

have favoured the luxury

market, with increases for

higher-priced watches and

eye-watering auction results

Live events return to

form amid digital fatigue

Physical trade shows have

cemented their role in the

industry, with digital events

taking a complementary role

– rather than centre-stage

Geneva establishes itself

as centre of trade fairs

Three salons occurred

in the Swiss city in 2021,

establishing its reputation

as the heart of watchmaking

Challenges ahead for

the revived Baselworld

Logistics and marketing

are key issues for Baselworld

as organisers plot its April

2022 return

like-minded Bulgari, H. Moser & Cie., Breitling, Ulysse

Nardin, Urwerk, Gerald Genta, MB&F and Girard-


This year it was presented from 30 August–3

September in a 'phygital' format – a mix of in-person

and virtual presentations – to address the visitor

restrictions created by the global pandemic.

This was five days filled with innovations, new

designs, concepts, limited editions, affordable –

and untouchably expensive – watches released by

some of the world’s renowned manufacturers.

Baselworld – a brand seeking redemption

Only a few years ago, Baselworld was the leading

go-to fair, but it spectacularly fell from grace for

reasons widely canvassed in Jeweller and elsewhere.

Baselworld is now doing everything it can to recover

its credibility with watch brands and is adopting a

‘gently, gently’ approach to achieve this. But it will be

hard work for a couple of very pertinent reasons.

Firstly, Rolex, Patek Philippe, Tudor, Chanel, and

Chopard were fiercely loyal to Baselworld but left as a

bloc in April 2020, with just a hint in the air that MCH

Group – the Baselworld organiser – had been careless

with its reciprocal loyalty.

Undoing this damage is not, and cannot, be an easy

task as the issues accumulated over some years.

But Baselworld can only really feel at ease if, or when,

the industry pillars of Patek Philippe and Rolex return

to the Messe Basel exhibition centre.

In the meantime, the next problem facing Baselworld is

58 | November 2021

that the centre of horological gravity has shifted from

Basel to Geneva; Baselworld’s defecting ‘big names’

established their new salon in Geneva, in conjunction

with the ‘opposition’ Watches & Wonders.

Therefore, Baselworld has a logistical problem in that

Basel and Geneva are at opposite ends of Switzerland.

Expecting good coverage of Baselworld exhibitors

when buyers and media are all down in Geneva may

be a forlorn hope.

To re-establish its presence, the ‘new’ Baselworld

was launched with a big step outside its traditional

premises to reconnect with the industry and

the media.

One cannot ignore Geneva

Watch Days... This was five

days filled with innovations,

new designs, concepts, limited

editions, affordable – and

untouchably expensive – watches

released by some of the world’s

renowned manufacturers”

IWC Schaffhausen

It was presented via a new pop-up event in Geneva,

which ran from August 30, simultaneously with the

Geneva Watch Days.

This event was marketed as “presenting the

new Baselworld spirit, with 10 independent

brands and a program that favours openness,

conviviality and networking.”

While on a far smaller scale to the traditional

Baselworld event, it was the first step in the

build-up to the return of the larger physical show,

Baselworld 2022, which will take place from

31 March 31–4 April next year.

Meanwhile, the annual highly regarded Only Watch

auction is the next event of the industry – and both

the watches themselves and the charitable proceeds

will make for an interesting saga to observe.

There is no shortage of promotional material in the

horological ether, as brands try to compensate for

the lack of fairs this year.

Manufacturers, buyers, agents, and the media are all

looking forward to a 2022 resumption of the affairs of

the industry, unhindered by virus-driven politics.

In the meantime, the new releases and recordbreakers

of this year act as tempters, reminding us

of the exquisite pieces we have all been missing –

and deserve to see, in the flesh, once again.


MARTIN FOSTER is a freelance journalist and

Jeweller’s resident watch ‘guru’. Based in Sydney,

Martin attends major international exhibitions

covering the watch and timepieces categories.

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Who stole the

show with this

vintage citrine


Turn to page

70 to find out.



Sunlight & flames

Jeweller explores the captivating hues of orange and yellow

gemstones, from the rich gold of topaz to mandarin garnet,

fresh citrine, and smouldering fire opal.





Dive into gem trivia


Sunset magic


This month’s colours dazzle










Sanskrit tapaz, meaning fire



Heat, irradiation, coatings

Yellow and golden orange (among



8 Popular


& Yellow


Spessartite Garnet








Named after Spessart, Germany




Light orange to reddish orange-brown

Heliodor (Yellow Beryl)







Yellow Zircon















Ancient Greek helios, meaning sun,

and doron meaning gift


1.57 – 1.58

Heat, irradiation

Yellow, yellow-green, golden-yellow


Persian zargun, meaning gold-hued




Yellow to orangey-red (among others)



Old French citrin, meaning





Yellow to deep orange-red



• Carnelian

• Chrysoberyl

• Danburite

• Yellow & Orange


• Yellow & Orange


• Yellow & Orange


Fire Opal







Golden South Sea Pearls















From its flame-like appearance

6 – 6.5


Coatings, dyes

Yellow to orange-red


Named for their colour and Pacific origin

2.5 – 4



Pale to rich gold


Likely Arabic anbar, meaning fragrant

2 – 2.5


Heat, wax, dye, coatings

Yellow to orange-brown (among others)



In Depth



Yellow Zircon

Sri Lanka













Sri Lanka







Brazil (treated)

Yellow & Orange


Sri Lanka



Myanmar (Burma)





Sri Lanka





Myanmar (Burma)





• Topaz

• Spessartite garnet

• Yellow beryl (Heliodor)

• Amber




• Topaz

• Spessartite garnet

• Yellow beryl (Heliodor)

• Amber



Sri Lanka

• Yellow zircon

• Topaz

• Yellow & orange sapphire

• Spessartite Garnet

• Yellow Beryl (Heliodor)

Myanmar (Burma)

• Topaz

• Yellow & orange sapphire

• Spessartitie garnet

• Golden South Sea Pearls





Golden South Sea pearls



Yellow & Orange


South Africa




Yellow Beryl







Sri Lanka


Golden South

Sea Pearls

The Philippines


















Old Hollywood

stars Greta

Garbo and Joan

Crawford were

famous fans of

citrine jewellery

"The colours

red, blue

and green

are real.

The colour

yellow is

a mystical


shared by



In the 17th

Century, Scottish

weapon makers

set dagger handles

with citrine and

the gemstone later

became popular

for traditional

Scottish kilt pins

and shoulder


105 tonnes – estimated amount of

amber produced by Palaeogene forests

of Northern Europe

There is a sun, a light that for

want of another word I can

only call yellow, pale sulphur

yellow, pale golden citron.

How lovely yellow is!"










The year fire opal deposits were

found in Queretaro, Mexico

The word 'electricity' comes from the Ancient Greek

word for amber, elektron, for its ability to produce

static electricity when rubbed

Ancient Egyptians

believed carnelian was

the blood of the goddess

Isis, and would place

carnelian amulets upon

the throats of dead bodies

Citrine was known as "the

money stone" or "the merchant's

stone" in the Middle Ages, as

it was believed it would bring

wealth to whoever wore it

Carnelian, garnet, yellow

zircon, and citrine are

all believed to have been

embedded in the breastplate

of the Biblical figure Aaron

Many orange and yellow gemstones,

including topaz and heliodor, were once

believed to harness the power of the sun

While inexpensive,

natural citrine is

remarkably rare; most


specimens are in fact

heat-treated amethyst

62 | November 2021


Colour Investigation

Brilliant transparent gemstones in warm tropical tones

of pale lemon, rich gold, delicate apricot or vivid saffron

can be challenging to identify. What could they be?

First in affordability and popularity is the quartz family

– from the delicate pastel tones of ‘lemon quartz’ to

the vibrant, vivid orange hues of citrine and all shades



Sunset magic:

Orange & yellow gemstones

For centuries, orange and yellow gemstones have enraptured jewellers and jewellery-lovers,

with mystical properties attributed to their warm, sun-like glow, Jeweller discovers.

Citrine is commonly confused with a similarly-coloured

but more expensive topaz.

Natural citrine is the most valuable form of quartz, and

extremely rare. It occurs when amethyst formations are

close to natural heat sources in the Earth's crust.

It ranges in colour from a shade of light gold through to a

fiery reddened-yellow and owes its hue to traces of ferric iron.

The majority of citrine on the market, however, is actually

heat-treated purple amethyst.

This heat treatment – involving temperatures up to 560

degrees – helps replicate the yellow, gold and amber

shades of natural citrine and is clearly recognisable to a

trained professional by the subtle stripes that the process

leaves on the gem.stone

Heat-treated citrine is readily available, very affordable

and extremely durable.

The best specimens of natural citrine come from Brazil,

mined in Rio Grande do Sul. Other deposits include

Madagascar, the US, Spain and Africa.

Traditionally the darker shades have held more value but

recently consumer preference leans towards brighter

lemony hues.

Indeed, the name citrine is derived from the French word


Legend says it acts as an energising stone against

issues of willpower, optimism, confidence and self-




Harry Winston





weight of amber

produced from

Europe's forests

in the Paleogene


year the term

citrine was first

used to describe

the gemstone


weight of the El

Dorado Topaz,

the world's

largest faceted


citrin, meaning lemon-coloured. In this shade, citrine is

often confused with orange topaz.

There are few references in history to citrine, perhaps

because of the stone's rarity.

The first occurrences seem to be the use of citrine by

Romans for intaglio and cabochon in the centuries

immediately following the birth of Christ.

Citrine saw increased use as a gemstone in jewellery

during the Romantic Age (1837-1860).

Today, citrine is widely used in many jewellery styles.

The sunny gemstone’s beautiful colours can brighten

almost any jewellery style, although it goes particularly

well with yellow gold.

An inexpensive gem, citrine is the perfect stone for

popular free-form fancy cuts for unique and custommade


Like all crystal quartzes, citrine has a hardness of 7 on

Mohs’ scale and is largely insensitive to scratches. It

will also withstand a few knocks, too, since its cleavage

properties are non-existent.

The gemstone’s durability makes it a suitable keepsake.

Indeed, citrine is the modern birthstone for November

and also the stone for the 13th year of marriage.

Like citrine, topaz is the birthstone of November. Yellow

topaz is often confused with citrine due to its similar colour.

Topaz is allochromatic, meaning it derives colour from

impurities and defects in its crystal structure; this

November 2021 | 63

Colour Investigation | ORANGE & YELLOW GEMSTONES





Officially the worlds oldest gem, pearls have

been surrounded in history, legend and

mysticism since before written history, with

discoveries such as pearl jewellery found in

a royal sarcophagus dating back to 420BCE.

Pearls were also often presented as gifts

to Chinese royalty as early as 2300BCE,

while in ancient Rome they were considered

to be a status symbol and laws were

passed allowing pearls to be worn only

by the ruling classes.

The only way of sourcing pearls was by

collecting wild oysters.

It could take up to a tonne of wild oysters

to find just three or four quality pearls.

The increasing demand for natural pearls

by the 19th Century meant oyster supplies

began to decline.

In the late 1800s, the concept of culturing

pearls was developed, with Kokichi

Mikimoto becoming perhaps the most

famous for commercialising and marketing

this industry.

​Pearls can be cultured in various species of

oyster, in both fresh and saltwater, producing

different finished pearls with different

attributes – and thus value.

Saltwater pearls take up to four years to

produce a pearl, with each oyster generally

producing just one pearl for each cycle.

They are highly sensitive to their

environment and subtle changes in their

surroundings can directly affect the

oyster's health. Therefore, saltwater pearl

farms generally are located in pristine

environmental conditions.

Golden South Sea pearls are cultured from

the gold-lipped Pinctada maxima along

the Philippine, Indonesian, and Australian

coastlines and are valued for their size and

their unique lustre,

– Atlas Pearls










03 9654 4449

Level 4, Wales Corner

227 Collins Street

Melbourne VIC 3000







explains the vast array of topaz hues.

However, sherry topaz – named after the variety of wine – is

perhaps the best-known and most traditional topaz colour,

ranging from yellowish brown to orange.

Often, specimens that fall within this colour range are called

'precious topaz' to distinguish them from less-expensive citrine.

Topaz has been known as a gemstone for at least 2,000 years

and is believed to take its name from the island the Ancient

Greeks knew as Topazios – modern day Zabargad.

The sunny gemstone’s beautiful

colours can brighten almost any

jewellery style, although it goes

particularly well with yellow gold. An

inexpensive gem, citrine is the perfect

stone for popular free-form fancy cuts

for unique and custom-made pieces”

Harry Winston

Scholars also trace its name back to the Sanskrit word tapaz,

meaning "fire".

Brazil is the principal source of gem-quality topaz, with the

region Minas Gerais producing large yellow to orange crystals.

Sapphire and garnet

Next comes sapphire, from the corundum family. Like topaz, it

is allochromatic.

On the yellow to orange spectrum, colours range from stronglysaturated

golden yellows typical in Australia to soft pastel

tones seen in Ceylon sapphires.

Other treatments must be disclosed if they significantly alter a

gemstone’s appearance and value.

Beryllium surface or sub-surface lattice diffusion has been

used since the early 2000s. This treatment transforms lowquality

off-colour corundum into beautiful, vibrant yellow or

orange using heat treatment in combination with beryllium.

Meanwhile, some of the most vibrant yellow and orange

gemstones are from the beloved garnet family.

In its finest quality, spessartite garnet is Fanta-orange, malaya

garnet is orange to reddish-orange and hessonite garnet

ranges from orange to brownish-yellow to brownish-red.

Spessartite – also known as spessartine – is named for the

German region of Spessart, Bavaria, where the mineral was

first discovered.

Today, most spessartite garnet originates from Africa, with

deposits of high-quality material found Namibia and Nigeria in

the 1990s.

In recent times, spessartite deposits are active in Mozambique

and Madagascar, though supply is relatively limited.

Spessartite is a manganese aluminum silicate; the element


Yael Sonia




Originally from

Burma (Myanmar)

MAYS Exotic Gems of

& Jewellery has now

been established in

Melbourne serving

Australia wide. Ask

us about our Jedi

Spinel, Grey Spinel,

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Sterlé Paris, Christie's


Colour Investigation | ORANGE & YELLOW GEMSTONES

Jewellery Theatre

manganese gives it its distinctive orange colour.

A mixture of spessartite and iron-rich almandine

garnet produces a reddish-orange effect.

Yellow and orange zircon

Zircon is the oldest mineral on earth and Australia

boasts the oldest deposits dating back more than

4.4 billion years.

The most famous source of Australian zircon is the Mud

Tank Zircon Field, found in an area known as the Harts

Range, which is situated 1,220 km south to southeast of

Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia.

This field, first explored in the 1940s, is well-known

amongst fossickers for producing top-quality

zircon and includes two areas called Zircon Hill and

Specimen Hill.

The zircons found here display beautiful earthy tones

of cinnamon, sherry, cognac, pinks, plums, oranges,

yellow and even parti-coloured and colourless.

Gemstones may occur as small, doubly-terminated

crystals or chips, and larger specimens may show

well-developed crystal faces. Waterworn zircon crystals

occur in the low-lying areas between the two hills.

Zircon is found intermixed with sapphire in deposits

associated with tertiary volcanic deposits from

Tasmania to Northern Queensland.

This is particularly true on the gemfields of Northern

NSW and Central Queensland where they range in

colour from colourless through to champagne and


Sometimes Australian zircons are heated to lighten

them or make them colourless. Most zircon deposits

originate from Maynamr (Burma) Burma but other

world sources include Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Brazil,

Africa, Madagascar, Thailand and Vietnam.

Zircon is prized for its diamond-like lustre, intense

fire, brilliance and strong double refraction and

it’s these qualities that separate it from its many

imitators. Golden brown zircon can appear similar to

topaz or citrine.

Zircon sometimes contains traces of uranium,

irradiating itself and changing its properties. For this

reason, zircon is classified into three types – high,

intermediate and low.

Amber and pearl

As natural gemstones – that is, formed through

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Harper & Rowe sources only

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incorporate crystals, semiprecious

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slave bangle with ball ends

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organic processes – amber and golden South Sea pearls reflect

the warm, rich hues found in nature.



Golden South Sea pearls are among the largest and most

valuable pearls, grown in the gold-lipped variety of Pinctada

maxima oysters over a period of two to four years – far longer

than freshwater or Akoya pearl varieties.

Unlike white South Sea pearls, which are primarily farmed in

Australia, golden South Sea pearls are predominantly grown

in the Philippines and Indonesia, with a minority sourced from

Australia and occasionally Myanmar (Burma).

Their natural colour requires no enhancement and is the

primary determinant of their value; the richer the golden tone,

the more highly prized the pearl.

The deepest golden tone is often referred to as '24 carat'.

Amber, meanwhile, is one of the more well-known organic

gems is fossilised tree resin prized for its rich golden hues.

When plant or animal fragments are suspended within the

material, they can offer a fascinating peek into our planet’s

primordial past.

It ranges in colour, but the best-known specimens are yellow

to yellow-brown.

[Golden South Sea pearls'] natural

colour requires no enhancement

and is the primary determinant of

their value; the richer the golden

tone, the more highly prized the pearl.

The deepest golden tone is often

referred to as '24 carat'”

Chemically, amber is a hydrocarbon – a compound of carbon,

oxygen and hydrogen – although the chemical constituents vary

between sources worldwide.

Unearthed predominantly in the Baltic Sea region of Europe,

it is also found in the Dominican Republic, Myanmar (Burma),

Mexico and some other European localities.

Not all tree resin is destined to become amber. Much like all

fossils, there are specific environmental conditions of heat,

pressure and biology that are required for the fossilisation to

take place.

The two-part process of transformation from tree resin to

amber is called ‘amberisation’.

Over the course of 2–10 million years, the resin begins to harden

through a process of molecular polymerisation. Here, the resin

must be in an anaerobic (oxygen-free) condition under layers of

overlying sediment, where pressure and heat can transform the

soft resin into harder and more stable ‘copal’ resin.

From here, sustained heat and pressure can further evaporate

terpenes (organic compounds within the resin) to form a hard,

solid natural plastic – amber.

Ph: +61 3 9587 1215

Email: info@stonesandsilver.com.au


Colour Investigation | ORANGE & YELLOW GEMSTONES



'Zircon' has a complex

etymology; it comes from

the German zirkon, a

translation of the term

jargoon which was

applied by gem traders to

lighter-coloured zircon;

jargoon is a corruption of

the Persian word zargun,

meaning 'golden-hued'

Zircon is the oldest mineral

on Earth, and Australia

boasts the oldest deposits,

dated to 4.4 billion years ago

Due to its wide range of

colours, zircon was known

by many names, including

'jacinth' – mentioned in the

Bible – and hyacinth

Evidence suggests that Baltic and Dominican amber were created

in a very specific anaerobic environment – extended immersion

under seawater.

While amber may be transparent through to opaque, transparent

material is typically the most sought after. The darker, reddish

material is more valuable, but inclusions play a huge part in the

final value.


Carnelian is a translucent stone available in varying shades that

range from flesh pink to burnt orange, red and brown.

It was argued that carnelian's colour was reminiscent of bloodied

human flesh and this explains the derivation of its name: carne

being Latin for flesh or meat.

Although the gemstone is comprised primarily of silicon dioxide,

it owes its warm tones to the iron oxide impurities it contains.

Deposits of carnelian are found close to the Earth's surface where

conditions are cooler and less pressurised.


Express your style with stacker rings as unique as you

are. With many designs to choose from, the rings can

be worn independently or layered together with other

jewellery pieces. Each one is embellished with the ultimate

Australian treasure: rare Argyle pink diamonds.


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Carnelian is a member of the chalcedony family. As

microcrystalline forms of quartz, chalcedony gems are among the

most abundant on Earth. Consequently, carnelian can be found in

numerous countries all over the world.

Uruguay and Japan are among the most popular locations, however

the main source of carnelian is Campo de Maia in South America.

Many of the specimens derived from here are colour treated with

ferrous nitrate to enhance their hue.

Of all the places carnelian is found, India is regarded by the jewellery

industry as the place where the best-quality examples are found.

Numerous pieces of jewellery containing carnelian were uncovered

in ancient Egyptian tombs. So strong was the Egyptian peoples'

faith in carnelian that, along with turquoise and lapis lazuli, it was

the most used stone in ancient Egyptian jewellery.

In the Middle East, many feared the superstitious power of the 'evil

eye', an amulet comprised of various gems, including turquoise.

Carnelian was carved into pendants and inscribed with prayers that




were believed to ward off evil glances.

Modern-day uses see carnelian cut as cabochons and used in all

types of jewellery, particularly beads and cameo brooches.

Fire opal

Opal is famous for the incredible array of colours displayed, from

vibrant reds – the most prized – to velvety purples and everything

in between.


With such incredible opal specimens here in our backyard,

international varieties are often lesser known and less available.

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.

Fire opal rarely displays play-of-colour, yet it attracts collectors

based on the body-colour alone – 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-of-colour commands a higher price.

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.


+61 2 9266 0636

enquiries@ikecho.com.au www.ikecho.com.au


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 Inspired by Plumeria

flowers, these earrings by

Nadine Jewellery takes

centre stage. Composed

of oval cognac-coloured

beryls and accentuated

by bright white diamonds,

it symbolises rebirth,

and is part of a suite of

matching jewellery

Lorraine Schwartz

Nadine Jewellery

CITRINE – Megan Fox, Met Gala 2021

YELLOW BERYL – Alessandra Ambrosio,

Cannes Film Festival in 2018


SOUTH SEA PEARL – Diane Kruger, Met

Gala 2021



Julianne Moore, CMet Gala 2017

Lorraine Schwartz

ORANGE SAPPHIRE – Camila Mendes,

Vanity Fair Oscar party 2019


TOPAZ – Maria Borges,

Cannes Film Festival 2019

4 Matching 12.4mm golden

south sea pearls steal the

show in Chanel's San Marco

earrings. Set in yellow gold

with 2-carats of brilliant-cut

white diamonds, 1.90-carats

of yellow sapphires and

embellished with 12 cultured

Japanese pearls, it has

matching necklace and ring




Margot Robbie, SAG Awards 2019


Winnie Harlow, Met Gala 2019




3The legenday cushioncut

Tiffany Yellow Diamond

weighs 128.54-carats and

was found in the South African

Kimberley diamond mines in

1877. It is suspended from a

necklace of white diamonds

weighing over 100 total carats,

and has only been worn by

Audrey Hepburn, Lady Gaga

and Beyonce.

Tiffany & Co.

YELLOW DIAMOND – Lady Gaga, Academy

Awards 2019

4 Fred Leighton

is home to this

1940s vintage

Trabert & Hoeffer

Mauboussin hinged

cuff bracelet featuring

a 147.45-carat

emerald cut citrine

with 24.50-carats

of amethyst and

4-carats of white

diamond set in green

and rose gold.

Fred Leighton and Kwiat


Met Gala 2021

3 Set into bezels of

18-carat yellow gold

with white diamond

accents, this classic

Tiffany & Co's imperial

topaz necklace with

matching earrings

feature in the 2019 Blue

Book Collection.


PO Box 3168 Yeronga

Queensland 4104


Tiffany & Co.

Topaz – Kendall Jenner, Met Gala 2019



Stars shine in colour | GEMSTONES IN THE SPOTLIGHT

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

4 These timeless drop

earrings by De Beers'

Forevermark feature

10.43-carats of radiantcut

vivid yellow diamond.

Set in platinum and

18-carat white gold, it is

worth over US$1 million.


Irene Neuwirth

CARNELIAN – Olivia Wilde, Golden Globes


YELLOW DIAMOND – Amanda Seyfried,

Golden Globes 2021

Fred Leighton

CITRINE – Kirsten Dunst, Venice File

Festival 2021

Lorraine Schwartz

ORANGE DIAMOND – Heidi Klum, Golden

Globes 2013


SOUTH SEA PEARL – Sarah Hyland,

Golden Globes 2011

Pasquale Bruni

YELLOW BERYL – Dita Von Teese, Elton

John Oscars Viewing Party 2016

4 These knockout

chandelier earrings by

Dubai-based designer

Amwaj feature giant

emerald-cut citrines set

in 18-carat white gold

and heavily accented with

pear shaped diamonds.

Glen Spiro


CARNELIAN – Gwyneth Paltrow, Met Gala


CITRINE – Poppy Delevingne, Emmy

Awards 2018


YELLOW DIAMOND – Sharon Stone,

Cannes Film Festival 2021


YELLOW BERYL – Jodie Turner Smith,

Cannes Film Festival 2021

5 From Gucci's recent Hortus

Deliciarum high jewellery

collection, this 18-carat yellow

gold necklace features 131.10

carats of yellow beryls paired

with white diamonds.

Lorraine Schwartz


PEARL – Julianne Moore, Gotham

independent film awards 2012


YELLOW DIAMOND – Zendaya, Academy

Awards 2021



The existential question

facing every retailer today

Amid growing competition and pressure in the retail environment, innovation and

creativity offer a path to continued relevance and viability, writes DOUG STEPHENS.

Bad retailers will never run out of

customers; history suggests that there

is always a segment of the consumer

population willing to ‘trade down’ if they

believe they can save a dollar or two.

Some retailers, like long-beleaguered US

department store JC Penney, have spent

decades proving this thesis.

However, such retailers will eventually run

out of brands to stock, and the reason for

that comes down to simple maths.

At its core, retail has always been a value

exchange between brands – that is, the

businesses that manufacture branded

product lines – consumers, and retailers,

with retailers occupying the precarious

middle part of the equation.

For the relationship to hold, each party

must contribute value to the others. But

in a post-industrial, increasingly postdigital,

and post-pandemic world, the

retailer’s place in that equation has become

more complicated.

The value equation

Only a decade or two ago, delivering value

as a retailer was relatively simple.

Brands brought product design, quality, and

name recognition, while consumers brought

demand and dollars.

And retailers, in most cases, needed only

to provide physical points of distribution for

products, coupled with a willingness to relay

product information on behalf of the brand

to consumers.

Everyone was satisfied.

The problem today is that while the value

contributed by brands and consumers

has remained more-or-less constant, the

contribution traditionally made by retailers

is now all but worthless.

Consumers, with the internet at their

fingertips, no longer require retailers to act

as porters of product information.

Likewise, brands, with unmitigated

digital access to hundreds of millions of

consumers, no longer need to rely on

a third-party retailer’s physical assets

for customer acquisition or product


In other words, consumers and brands

have all the tools they need to carry on quite

capably without retailers.

It has all driven

us to a rather


moment in retail

history; a point

where retailers

across all

categories have

to completely

re-think the

value they bring

to their part of

the equation

Hence, brands like Nike are ramping up

their direct-to-consumer strategies.

It has all driven us to a rather dramatic

moment in retail history; a point where

retailers across all categories have to

completely re-think the value they bring to

their part of the equation.

They must once and for all retire easy

scapegoats like Amazon, e-commerce

and Millennials because the real enemy is

none of these external forces, but rather

their own failures to beat back irrelevance,

a condition for which there is only one cure

– reinvention and the contribution of new

radical value, not only for consumers but for

brands, too.

Defining ‘radical value’

This notion of radical value is important.

Take, for example, Amazon. Love it or not,

brands are drawn by the tens of thousands

to sell on Amazon because Amazon

radically redefined our sense of selection

and convenience and in the process, formed

a global tribe of Prime Members nearly 200

million deep.

Similarly, China’s Alibaba has executed a

74 | November 2021

Business Strategy

radical level of integration into the lives of

its customers, offering brands access to the

world’s largest single market of shoppers.

In order to survive, all retailers must create

similarly radical levels of value.

It starts with creating radical value for

customers. Retailers can and must create

radical value in one or more of four areas:

• Cultural value – Outdoor clothing

retailer Patagonia creates radical cultural

value through its single-minded focus on

environmental stewardship, placing this

imperative at the core of everything the

business does including its financial model.

This makes Patagonia as much a social

movement as a retailer; the commitment to

the environment acts as a lightning rod for

like-minded customers and staff.

All organisational objectives,

communications and initiatives ‘ladder’

back up to environmental protection,

making Patagonia a ‘tribal ‘outpost for

customers who share its values.

• Entertainment value – Retailers can also

create customer value with entertainment;

UK department store Selfridges creates

radical entertainment value through an

intense focus on experience.

From streetwear departments with skate

bowls to creative pop-ups and unique food

and beverage installations, the experience

at Selfridges has, to a great extent, become

the product itself.

The years leading up to the pandemic saw

the retailer make huge investments in what

managing director Andrew Keith recently

called “all the magic that goes on in the


• Expertise value – New York’s Allure Store,

a partnership between Allure magazine

publisher Condé Nast and retail platform

Stour, delivers radical expertise value in

its category – beauty products – through

authority. This authority is established via

the staff.

The Allure beauty store – to which I am an

advisor – does not hire retail workers but

instead beauty influencers.

The result is a dynamic team of influential

beauty experts, all of whom speak with

authority from personal and professional

experience. They do so both in-store and

through social media content shared to the

retailer’s growing legion of followers.

• Product/channel value – Finally, there are

retailers that bring radical levels of product

design, channel control or consolidation to

the table.

Luxottica, for example, is estimated to

control 40–60 percent of the global eyewear

market, making it almost impossible to do

business in the optical category without

doing business with Luxottica.

Retailers that so thoroughly control access

and distribution within a category carry

obvious value to consumers as a go-to


Other retailers create products that become

so dominant in their categories that they

become a magnet for associated products.

Apple is an obvious example; if you

manufacture iPhone cases or any other

tech accessory, chances are you’d clamour

to obtain space in an Apple store because

Apple contributes radical levels of design to

both its products and its stores.

Value creation for retailers

What’s particularly interesting is that, in

most cases, the same retailers that create

radical value for consumers also tend to

create equally radical levels of value for the

brands they stock.

In becoming a cultural flagbearer for

the environment, Patagonia brings to

its ‘brand partners’ an army of loyal and

highly-engaged customers to whom they

otherwise wouldn’t have such easy access.

Another example is the US retailer Camp,

which sells children’s toys, activity sets,

books, and more.

Camp creates in-store theatre and events

for parents and children, marketing itself as

a ‘family experience company’.

In doing so, the business provides handson

and contextual opportunities for

children to engage with brands’ products;

opportunities that simply can’t be delivered

online or in other more conventional toy





your offer

It is imperative

that retailers

understand their

role in the 'value


Delight your



new ways of

attracting and



Boost your


Strategise how

to make the

most of branded

products and

develop close


with suppliers

The retail technology start-up B8TA is

another intriguing example. Not only

does the business attract a particularly

passionate segment of the market, but

its model is based on in-store product

demonstrations and presentations.

Manufacturers pay to rent out space for

their product to be displayed inside B8TA’s

retail locations, along with a tablet that each

brand customises with software.

This model offers the manufacturers

access to robust data, providing them with

consumer intelligence and insights they

wouldn’t otherwise access.

Similarly, the Allure Store, mentioned

previously, also acts as a marketing ‘flywheel’

for brands, producing compelling

product content and in-store activations,

all of which would carry significant cost if

brands were to produce it themselves.

The common thread here is that these

retailers are fundamentally changing the

conversation they’re having with brands.

For too long, we’ve assumed the

retailer-brand relationship to be

transactional – purely based on volume,

margin, and incentives.

But brands today are asking for more; they

want market intelligence, they want – at the

very least – ‘co-ownership’ of the customer

relationship where loyalty is shared, they

want their unique ‘brand story’ articulated

and animated with excellence, and they want

their prices treated with integrity.

Retailers that appreciate this shift and

deliver radical value back to brands will

perform better in the long-term than those

retailers who do nothing but extract value

from the relationship.

Because, in the end, retailers that do not

become a source of radical value for brands

will awaken one day to find their sales floors

empty of branded goods.

DOUG STEPHENS is founder and CEO

of Retail Prophet and the author of three

books on the future of retail, including

the recently released ‘Resurrecting

Retail: The Future of Business in a Post-

Pandemic World.’ Visit: retailprophet.com

November 2021 | 75



Crucial strategies for selling to

different personality types

BRI WILLIAMS reveals how to tailor your sales message to the two

types of consumers – promotion-focused and prevention-focused.

There’s a wealth of research on how best

to frame your sales message to appeal to

your audience.

For example, advertisements that are

framed positively work best for people

who are promotion-focused – in other

words, people who seek to maximise the

probability of obtaining a positive outcome.

For these promotion-focused people you

can talk about the benefits they’ll enjoy

and what they’ll gain.

It’s a little more nuanced for the other

type of consumers, who are prevention

focused. These people prefer to avoid

negative outcomes rather than seek

positive ones.

If the product is hedonic – that is,

pleasurable, such as a massage or holiday

–they respond more favourably if the ad is

negative, probably because it assuages any

guilt they may feel for ‘indulging’!

Meanwhile, for utilitarian products – such

as a calculator or car wax – positive

advertising works best.

In separate research, prevention-focused

consumers tend to prefer products with

utilitarian-related attributes; they would

choose a laptop with a long battery life,

while promotion-focused people would

prefer products with hedonic attributes,

such as a laptop with appealing design.

This is all very well, but the question is,

how do you know what type of person you

are dealing with in the first place?

Promotion or prevention?

If you are sending an email, having a

meeting, or conversing with a customer,

how can you determine whether to talk

the benefits up, or focus on avoiding the


Here are some characteristics to help you

identify someone’s type.

Promotion-focused people:

• Work and make decisions quickly

• Consider a lot of alternatives

Are your customers prevention-focused or promotion-focused ?

• Are open to new opportunities

• Have a rosy, optimistic outlook

• Plan for the best-case scenario

• Seek positive feedback and lose ‘steam’

without it

• Feel dejected when things go wrong,

and happy when they go right

Meanwhile, prevention-focused people:

• Work and make decisions slowly and


• Tend to be accurate

• Are stressed by short deadlines

• Stick to known ways of doing things

• Prepare for the worst

• Are uncomfortable with praise or


• Feel worried or anxious when things go

wrong, and relieved when things go right

During your interactions with a customer,

you can often pick up on clues during the

course of the conversation.

Applying the knowledge

Once you get an idea of whether a person

is promotion or prevention-focused, you

can address them in a way that maximises

their sense of compatibility.



with promotionfocused


be sure to


them, as they

respond well

to praise. Use


terms and

phrases, such as

‘growth’, ‘gain’,



‘chance’, and


They’ll be more likely to be persuaded by

your message if it ‘fits’ with their style.

When communicating with promotionfocused

people, be sure to compliment

them, as they respond well to praise.

Use optimistic terms and phrases, such

as ‘growth’, ‘gain’, ‘opportunity’, ‘benefits’,

‘chance’, and ‘innovation’. Prime them

to think in a promotion-focused way by

getting them to reflect or express their

hopes and aspirations.

When communicating with preventionfocused

people, remember that they can

be motivated by a gentle critique – though

nothing too personal.

Use terms and phrases related to security,

such as ‘protection’, ‘secure’, ‘avoid’, ‘risk’,

‘thorough’, ‘careful’, ‘planned’, ‘accurate’.

Prime them to think in a preventionfocused

way by getting them to reflect or

express their duties and obligations.

You can likewise adapt messages about

your product according to whether your

target market is prevention- or promotionoriented.

For example, if framing a luxury car in a

promotion-focused way, the seller might

discuss its performance and design.

Whereas, framing it in a preventionfocused

way, the seller might focus on its

fuel economy and safety standards.

Playing the odds

If all else fails, and in situations where you

can’t pre-determine what the focus of your

target audience is, I suggest playing the

odds and leading with the positive rather

than negative.

A positive message will give you ‘coverage’

across all promotion-focused people and

some prevention-focused types.

BRI WILLIAMS is founder of People

Patterns, a specialist consultancy

that applies behavioural science to

everyday business issues.

Visit: www.briwilliams.com

76 | November 2021



Three critical keys to a successful strategy

to recover from COVID-19

In the current uncertain environment, DAVE WAKEMAN advises how

business owners can assess and adapt their management strategy.

Like most folks, I’m still unsure of what

stage of the pandemic we are in.

Are we hitting the end of this? Are we in

the rough middle stages?

Is there some big twist that will push us

back to the beginning?

I’m not sure.

What I do know is that this period of time

definitely fits the definition of what many

strategists term a ‘VUCA environment’

– volatile, uncertain, complex, and


Assisting business owners to think

through dealing with this time has kept

my mind off where we are in the stages

of recovery, or dealing with the pandemic

– for the better, I hope.

All of this thinking over the last few

months has enabled me to put together

a few ideas on managing your business

strategy through this particular

VUCA environment.

Don’t be afraid of choice

Now, more than ever, we should all be

willing to embrace the choices that are

available to us.

We keep hearing about ‘the Great

Resignation’ of employees, particularly

in the US.

That is a reflection of people making a

choice about their lives, their careers,

and what is important to them.

What the research shows us is that

people’s feelings on value have changed;

what they want has changed, and what

they are willing to invest their time,

money, and attention in, has changed.

It is important that you think about this

in the context of yourself, your business,

and your staff.

Expecting that the things that were

certain before the pandemic started will

remain the same is a dangerous bet.

This means that you must embrace

choice and be willing to have the courage

Decision-making can be challenging when times are uncertain.

to make new decisions, adjusting your

strategy if that is what the world around

you – the market, your staff, your

customers – demands.

Know your position

There are only two positioning choices

you can make as a business – a choice

related to your competition, and a choice

related to the nature of your business.

For example, if you decide to use

service as your selling point, you

could say to customers, “Our service

is great,” or alternatively, “You don’t

have to deal with bad service when

you choose us.”

The first one is about your business, the

second is about your competition.

The problem is that too many business

owners attempt to do both and as

a result, get stuck in the middle

of nowhere and end up seeing no

improvement in sales.

As we enter a stage of recovery where

the idea of ‘normal’ or ‘new normal’ is

thrown around – with no context and,

often, no basis in reality – it is important

to understand why people will choose

to work with you, or shop with you, over

your competition.

As French marketing expert Louis

Even in the

best of times,



shouldn’t be

things you are

shackled to

for life. The

reality is that

all strategies

eventually stop


Grenier says, “Not standing out is the

dangerous path.”

All of us need to understand why folks

are going to pick us and what that says

about how we position ourselves in the


Know this and deal with it.

Be flexible

Even in the best of times, strategic

decisions shouldn’t be things you are

shackled to for life.

The reality is that all strategies

eventually stop working.

As a business owner, it is your job

to understand that you are going to

need to consistently update your

strategy based on new research, new

market conditions and challenges, or

new concepts of value creation.

In a VUCA environment, these ‘inflection

points’ happen much more quickly,

consistently, and radically.

This means that all of us need to

recognise that we must monitor our

environment for signs of change, new

ideas and opportunities, and new

possibilities, more frequently than we

otherwise might.

One of the key ideas that I try to teach

in my strategy work is that the best

approach to being flexible isn’t to make

your decision-making process ‘all or


Rather, it is about recognising the

possibilities so that you can embrace

the one that will give you the best

likelihood of success.

That’s smart in normal times – and,

I’d argue, even smarter now.

DAVE WAKEMAN is a consultant,

writer, and teacher who believes in

profits, not promises. His firm advises

businesses on creating focused

strategies that lead to profitable growth.

Visit: www.davewakeman.com

November 2021 | 77


Marketing & PR

Why marketing and promotion matters:

Building the ark before it rains

BRIDGET BROWN analyses the difference between sales and marketing and

explains why small businesses should invest in a strong marketing strategy.

There is a healthy competition between

the two disciplines, but are sales more

important than marketing?

It’s a question small business owners

must consider because they frequently

wear both hats, being responsible for

increasing sales and developing the

marketing strategy.

Sales is a clear path

Most small business owners focus on

sales, and this makes sense; after all,

if sales aren’t going well, you don’t make

any money!

The problem is, if you don’t have a steady

influx of new customers – or repeat

customers – even the best sales processes

and techniques can’t help you.

There is another reason small businesses

tend to focus on sales strategy, and it can

limit revenue.

That reason is that sales is simple – it

offers a clear path forward.

It is essentially only one thing, and it is easy

to measure and track success.

Plus, if you own a small business, you know

sales are vital, so you push forward with

an emphasis on improving your processes

and techniques.

Marketing, on the other hand, is less


Marketing is about knowing your target

audience and what they want, and shaping

your business to provide that.

This takes a lot of forms, including:

• Branding – Many marketers think of this

as the identity you create for your business

and the personality behind your words; I

consider those tools to shape your brand.

Brand itself is actually the level of

credibility you have in your market, and

what your reputation says about you

• Generating demand – Cultivating and

growing the existing interest in your offer,

as well as looking for new audiences

Stay afloat amid the shifting tides of retail with a solid marketing strategy.

• Lead generation – Attracting people

who are interested in your offer, and

cultivating a relationship with them

• Competitive intelligence – Market

research and assessing your competitors

• Pricing – Determining the value of your

offer, and what your audience is willing

to pay

• Channel strategy – Determining where,

when, and how you sell your offer

Naturally, marketing takes a lot of

effort. Of course, sales also takes

effort, but marketing does not show the

immediate, tangible reward of cash in

hand that sales does.

For that reason, many business owners

try to pretend marketing is optional, rather

than necessary.

To me, both marketing and sales are

important, but marketing should

come first.

Marketing as foundation

Marketing requires a clear message,

carefully chosen tactics, and a strategic

plan. That’s a big lift for a small business.

It seems expensive, and maybe even

optional. I prefer to think of it in another

way – as an investment that will increase in

value over time.

My parents worked in banking and


marketing is

like building

up that savings

account; you

are constantly

generating leads

which can keep

your business

afloat during

lean times

the lesson they taught us kids was the

importance of saving.

I got my first job at 14 and was obligated to

save a third of my paycheque. It seemed

draconian at the time – I wanted to spend it

all on concert tickets and black lipstick!

While I haven’t always been able to keep my

savings to this level, I have done a good job

of squirrelling some of my income away,

and it has saved me time and again.

There is nothing more freeing than being

able to walk away from a bad job because

you have enough money in the bank to pay

your bills until you find something better.

Think of marketing the same way – as a

hedge against the tough times.

Robust marketing is like building up

that savings account; you are constantly

generating leads which can keep your

business afloat during lean times.

By having a steady stream of incoming

business, you won’t need to worry about

making payroll or keeping the lights on.

You can concentrate on the day-to-day

challenges of serving your customers

because you know you have a plan for

the future.

As the saying goes, the time to build

the ark is before it rains. Creating a

sustainable marketing system is a hedge

against lean or difficult times ahead.

If business slows down, you have the

means to return to profitability – so long as

your marketing plan is running efficiently.

During boom times, building a quality

customer base is a way to capitalise on

your current success and store it away for

the future.

BRIDGET BROWN is founder of

Create That Copy & Marketing, a

Canadian marketing firm focused on

generating leads and increasing sales

and revenue for small businesses. Visit:


78 | November 2021


Logged On

The hidden power of your website’s FAQ page

The ‘frequently asked questions’ page is often an afterthought when designing a website, but it can provide

opportunities to both promote your business and increase sales, writes DONNA ST JEAN CONTI.

Public relations (PR) practitioners have a

variety of tools at their disposal, with the

press release possibly the most used – but

anothe, the question-and-answer (Q&A)

is used less often, yet it can be highly

effective and useful.

As the playwright Eugène Ionesco wrote,

“It is not the answer that enlightens, but

the question.”

The Q&A is valued by editors, reporters,

and customers alike, as it provides

straightforward information about

a business, its products, and/or

its services.

When crafted well, they lead a reader

through and to the exact message the

communicator wants to deliver.

Addressing common enquiries

When customers or potential customers

want to learn more about you and your

business, an effective way to help them

with this is through a type of Q&A – the

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on

your website.

But what are these pages for, exactly?

According to Kelli Matthews, a PR

executive and academic, these pages

are essentially edited transcripts of

an interview that “includes both the

interviewer’s direct questions and the

interviewee’s response in written format.”

In an article published by the firm

Allen Hall Public Relations, Matthews

further explains that this format is often

preferable to that of a narrative story,

as it is simplistic and written in a “to-thepoint


Matthews identifies several important

steps in how to put together an effective

FAQ page, following this interviewstyle


The most important point is that you

should think about the final product

and desired message before conducting

the ‘interview’.

First, type out the entire transcript before

editing. Then, arrange the questions in an

Answering your customers' questions can help you improve sales and SEO.

order that makes sense, and revisit the

page after you have written it.

Thinking of open-ended questions will

allow for more in-depth responses, and

editing a full transcript is easier than a

partial one.

Also, having questions arranged in

a meaningful way leads to efficient


Revisiting the page after its completion

allows you to approach it in its entirety,

with a refreshed perspective – similar to

the way a customer, potential customer,

or journalist looking to write about your

business would.

Evolving the FAQ

The development of technologies such

as voice search, mobile search, and

personal/home assistants and speakers

has led to the resurgence of the Q&A.

In an article published on Search Engine

Journal – a website dedicated to search

engine optimisation (SEO) and digital

marketing news – Lee Wilson, head of

services for UK digital marketing agency

Vertical Leap, explored the role of the

FAQ page.

“FAQ pages can bring in new visitors

to your website via organic search and

drive them to related pages – most

typically deeper blog pages and service

Thinking of



will allow for

more in-depth


[and] having


arranged in a

meaningful way

leads to efficient


pages closely related to the questions

being resolved,” Wilson wrote.

This is because all of these innovations

“rely on pre-results and can be targeted

specifically with FAQ pages.”

An effective FAQ page “reflects your

audience’s needs, covers a broad range

of intent, is frequently update with new

data, drives viewers to important pages

on the site, and showcases expertise and

authority within your niche,” he added.

Putting it all together

So, what goes into an effective Q&A?

Based on my own experience, and after

reviewing both Matthews’ and Wilson’s

articles, there are several answers:

• Approach your FAQ page with a bigpicture

perspective and create questions

for an interview that are open-ended

• Address the common needs of your

target audience

• Use the opportunity to lead the audience

to the message you want to convey. As part

of this, ensure that your questions and the

edited responses are to the point

When done correctly, FAQ pages instil a

sense of trust in your audience, removing

barriers to purchase by directing

customers – and potential customers

– to the information they need before

making a purchase.

They also showcase expertise and

authority in your category and improve

your SEO ranking.

DONNA ST JEAN CONTI is president

of St. Conti Communications, an

award-winning full-service marketing

communications agency specialising

in public relations, social media,

and writing support. Visit:


November 2021 | 79

My Bench

Troy O’Brien

Troy O’Brien Jewellery, Sydney NSW

Age 46 Years in Trade 31 • Training Apprenticeship through TAFE Ultimo; I apprenticed at Distell International with Albert and Peter Grech and with my uncle Peter Quinn

First job Distell International, 1990 • Other Qualifications 31 years of on-the-bench training, laser welding, and member of the Gold and Silversmiths Guild of Australia




I don’t have one signature piece – many pieces I have made over

the years have become favourites! I do enjoy creating a range of

jewellery based on animals, creatures, and marine life, and that

has become a ‘bespoke’ style for the store. I hope that every piece

I create for my customers becomes a ‘signature’ piece for them

and an heirloom of the future.

4FAVOURITE GEMSTONE Tourmaline, because

of the diverse range of colours! Tourmaline is a

gemstone of such high quality and diversity, from the

exceptionally rare Paraìba tourmaline to the uniquely

beautiful bi-colour tourmalines.

Each gemstone holds its own unique beauty and

rarity, which makes them highly valued by discerning

collectors. I love sourcing tourmalines and genuinely

get excited by their divine colour and beauty.

4FAVOURITE METAL Platinum – the only reason

people don’t use it is usually because of the higher

cost but, for me, this is far outweighed by the benefits

of its high lustre and longevity.

It has a nice weighty feel, giving a true sense of luxury

and quality that, for me, makes it second to none.

4FAVOURITE TOOL My laser. It makes all sorts of

repairs, assembly of intricate parts, welding platinum,

and repairing porosity easier and is a well-valued

investment in my workshop.

4BEST NEW TOOL DISCOVERY My steamer. It’s not

exactly a new tool, but I went without one for many

years – and now I could not live without it!

4BEST PART OF THE JOB This is an obvious answer,

but it is honestly my customers’ joy in seeing a piece

of jewellery I have created just for them. It never gets

old for me.

4WORST PART OF THE JOB Dealing with manky

earrings, licked rings, and gross watches!


good friend Albert Grech always taught me to expect

the unexpected.

4BEST TIP TO A JEWELLER Keep the stress behind

the scenes! Be patient, smile, always work hard and

keep honing your skills.


aware of your posture and your eyes; always take

breaks and stretch your back as well as your eyes.

Be careful of what you are breathing in, too. We work

with many chemicals, abrasives, and polish dust, so

try to protect yourself from these as best as possible.

4LOVE JEWELLERY BECAUSE It is different every

day. The ability we have to turn raw materials into

beautiful, loved pieces that become part of someone’s

life memories is a wonderful feeling.

80 | November 2021



Anticipating – and exceeding – your

customers' expectations

VIRGINIA MOODY explains the importance of providing first-class customer service,

both online and in-store, in an increasingly competitive retail environment.

We are living in an age where competition

for jewellery customers is high; the

online market is always evolving and

expanding and differentiating your

business can be a challenging endeavour.

What will distinguish you in the eyes of

your customer is how you treat them, what

you record and remember about them, and

their before-and-after-sales experiences

with your business.

Choosing to exceed expectations is the key

to building your reputation, your company

and developing trust with the people that

matter – your customers.

Customer service is about anticipating

customers’ needs, building a strong

relationship with them, and ensuring that

they feel valued and appreciated.

Good word of mouth can never be

underestimated, and in ensuring your

customers leave satisfied, you are primed

for repeat business.

Integral to setting your business up for

success is ensuring that both you and

your employees follow best practices; you

want to ensure that your responses to

customers are cohesive and reflect your

values as a seller.

Part of this involves designing a customer

service model based on what you know

about your customers and what you think

they expect from your business. Find out

who your customers are, and importantly,

how they wish to be communicated with.

It is also helpful to consider the many

points of contact you have, with the aim

of refining every interaction with your

business to be positive.

Actions like timely responses to questions

on your website or through social media

channels, dealing with customer enquiries

about warranty issues, exchanges and

returns – including issues relating to

freight and addressing complaints – are

included in this.

You want customers to walk away from

their interactions with your business on a

positive note, so it cannot be emphasised

enough that you deal with every customer

in a professional manner.

Ensuring you actively listen to them

and making certain you have a detailed

knowledge of your products and policies

is vital. It is far too easy to lose your

customer to the myriad of other jewellery

stores out there, and you want to do

everything in your power to retain them for

their next purchase.

Just one bad experience is all it takes to

negate the hard work you put into attaining

your customer, so be mindful that it is the

readiness to listen and to address any

concerns in a timely, ‘can-do’ manner, that

they appreciate and remember most.

While a shift to online purchasing in the

wake of COVID-19 was expected, the

pandemic has in fact generated a dramatic

migration to digital sales and services,

with the ‘Millennial mind-set’ towards

technology now rapidly being adopted

across all generations.

A massive transformation in the way

people buy is fertile ground for new habit

formation, and has prompted many

businesses to search for new, more

efficient systems to address customer


We use the Shopify e-commerce platform

which allows us to collate basic customer

contact details, conversion information,

and purchase history through our website’s

back-end. In turn, this enables us to create

personas of what our customers are like

and what they are looking for.

Ultimately, knowing who your customers

When a

customer deals

with your

company you

want the whole

experience to

be seamless.

Every element

of difficulty

that customers’

encounter is a

barrier between

them and their


are is the key to providing the products

and service that they would expect from

your business.

When a customer deals with your

company you want the whole experience

to be seamless. Every element of difficulty

that customers’ encounter is a barrier

between them and their purchase, so you

need to ensure your contact details are

accessible and your policies are clear.

Customers today are increasingly techsavvy,

with many expecting omnichannel

options; some prefer digital enquiries and

self-service pathways, while others prefer

to make more traditional contact via

phone and email.

Ensuring that the customer can contact

you using the method they want and find

easiest is an asset in ensuring a great

experience with your business.

It is by providing outstanding customer

service that our customers want to return

to us time and again; after all, customer

satisfaction is a fundamental element to

the building of a loyal customer base, and,

ultimately, the success of our businesses.

Without open lines of communication and

active engagement with our customers,

we may not know that they are dissatisfied

until they have moved on to another

business, or let the world know online.

Remember, building a successful brand

depends on your customers’ experiences.

The key is in making their experience a

success as well.

Name: Virginia Moody

Business: Harper & Rowe

Position: Owner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Years in the industry: 11

82 | November 2021





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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.

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 SapphireDreams.com.au | 02 9290 2199

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