Jeweller - December 2021

• Created increase: lab-created diamond sales forecast to double by 2025 • Golden touch: is it true that rising gold price decreases jewellery sales? • Risky customers: identify and remedy your 'at-risk' customers

• Created increase: lab-created diamond sales forecast to double by 2025
• Golden touch: is it true that rising gold price decreases jewellery sales?
• Risky customers: identify and remedy your 'at-risk' customers


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DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong><br />

Created increase<br />



Golden touch<br />



Risky customers<br />




SINCE 1986<br />

Reliability<br />

Honesty<br />

Integrity<br />





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Helping you shine<br />

yesterday, today<br />

& tomorrow.<br />


Australia is enriched with amazing treasures. Sapphire Dreams pays tribute to the beauty of<br />

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

To achieve this level of uncompromised excellence, all sapphires pass through the hands of our<br />

skilled gem cutters to become one-of-a-kind, timeless masterpieces.<br />

Call SGA today to become an Authorised Stockist<br />

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We are COLOUR<br />

Welcome to the Gift & Lifestyle Fairs in 2022<br />

FEBRUARY 5 – 7, 2022<br />

Melbourne Exhibition Centre<br />

South Wharf<br />

JULY 9 to 11, 2022<br />

Brisbane Convention &<br />

Exhibition Centre<br />

SEPTEMBER 17 – 20, 2022<br />

ICC Sydney Exhibition Centre<br />

Darling Harbour<br />

www.giftfairevents.com.au<br />

Est. 1990<br />

Phone: (02) 9452 7575<br />

Email: info@expertiseevents.com.au

DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong><br />

Contents<br />

This Month<br />

Industry Facets<br />

12 Upfront<br />

14 News<br />

26 Product Spotlight<br />

36 <strong>Jeweller</strong>s Showcase<br />

28<br />

32<br />

30<br />

35<br />

10 YEARS AGO<br />

Time Machine: <strong>December</strong> 2011<br />

NOW & THEN<br />

GW Cox My <strong>Jeweller</strong><br />

MY STORE<br />

Black Betty<br />


Part I: Synthetic Diamonds<br />


A Golden Age<br />

4Consumers see and hear the price of gold<br />

reported on a daily basis. In a rising market, do<br />

sales of gold jewellery decrease, or is there a<br />

counter-intuitive occurrence; they increase?<br />

Features<br />

38<br />

56<br />

58<br />

MY BENCH<br />

Cosimo Mirarchi<br />


Hugh Brown<br />


How is gold jewellery impacted by the gold price?<br />

46<br />


Lab-created diamonds today and tomorrow<br />

Better Your Business<br />


The Great Pretender?<br />

4The future for lab-created diamonds will<br />

not be the great disruptor many predicted.<br />

The potential may rest in the fashion jewellery<br />

and in high-tech applications rather than<br />

quality luxury pieces.<br />

50<br />

52<br />

53<br />

54<br />

55<br />


Do you have ‘at risk’ customers? JEANNIE WALTERS explains how to handle them.<br />


DAVID BROWN has some great ideas for staff sales training sessions.<br />


We know COVID’s affect on sellers, but DAVID BROCK asks: what about buyers?<br />


TOM MARTIN reveals what cold, hard data can, and cannot tell us.<br />


SIMON DELL provides insight into making social media algorithms work for you.<br />


Talent March<br />

4Presenting a tapestry of<br />

local talent and jewellery<br />

deigns that have been<br />

meticulously crafted<br />

right here on home soil<br />

FRONT COVER Established in 1951, Palloys<br />

is Australia’s oldest and most respected<br />

company for jewellery casting, custom<br />

jewellery production, CAD/CAM and gold<br />

refining services. It is the only company to<br />

guarantee its products are 100 per cent<br />

certified Australian gold from Australian<br />

mines, as it sources and controls the supply<br />

chain. To verify its 100 per cent Australiansourced<br />

gold status, Palloys has recently<br />

introduced the Au and Ag hallmark to further<br />

provide confidence and a peace of mind.<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2021</strong> | 9

Leaders and numbers<br />

have one thing in common...<br />






LOWEST<br />



1<br />

2<br />

3<br />

4<br />

5<br />

<strong>Jeweller</strong> 30:33 18.0 25.2% Australia<br />

Rapaport Magazine 02:14 1.9 56.1% USA<br />

JCK 02:09 1.9 68.5% USA<br />

Instore Magazine 01:59 1.7 70.6% USA<br />

National Jeweler 01:43 1.3 78.4% USA<br />

<strong>Jeweller</strong> has been the leading voice of the Australian and<br />

New Zealand jewellery industries for more than two decades.<br />

Today we are ranked #1 in the world.<br />

Alexa, the independent global ranking system for measuring<br />

website traffic and readership, now ranks jewellermagazine.com<br />

as the most widely read industry publication globally.<br />

Better still, the daily time spent on jewellermagazine.com averages<br />

30 minutes, far exceeding all other titles which average only<br />

2–3 minutes per visitor, while <strong>Jeweller</strong>’s social media presence<br />

dominates and our eMags boast well over 12.3 million reads.<br />

It’s clear; the numbers speak for themselves - follow the readers<br />

who follow the leader!<br />

* Alexa Global Ranking statistics as at 23 November <strong>2021</strong><br />

** Bounce rate represents the percentage of visitors who visit and then leave (“bounce”) a website rather than<br />

viewing more pages within the same site, meaning a higher Bounce Rate indicates less reader satisfaction.<br />


Upfront<br />

#Instagram hashtags to follow<br />

#amethyst<br />


#baroquepearl<br />

92,746+ POSTS<br />

#engagementringgoals<br />

59,697+ POSTS<br />

#hesaidyes<br />

162,864+ POSTS<br />

#labgrowndiamonds<br />

108,109+ POSTS<br />


Stuart Sapphire<br />

4The 104-carat oval Stuart Sapphire<br />

forms part of the British Crown Jewels<br />

and is believed to have originated from<br />

Southeast Asia. Reportedly having<br />

belonged to Charles II, who passed it<br />

on to his successor James VII and II,<br />

the stone was taken to France after<br />

the Glorious Revolution in 1688. As the<br />

last descendant of James VII and II, the<br />

Cardinal York sold the sapphire to George<br />

III in 1807 at which point it returned to the<br />

United Kingdom from Italy.<br />

Alpha Order<br />

#naturaldiamonds<br />

1201,407+ POSTS<br />

#omegawatches<br />


#opaljewellery<br />

102,025+ POSTS<br />

#rarejewels<br />

18,498+ POSTS<br />

#samesexengagement<br />

2,532+ POSTS<br />

In Queen Victoria’s Imperial State Crown, the sapphire was placed in the<br />

centre just below the Black Prince's Ruby, but in 1909 it was moved to the<br />

back of the crown to make way for the 317-carat Cullinan II diamond. Today<br />

it is on public display with other Crown Jewels in London.<br />

Trend Spotting<br />

4The stars are aligned! Personalised<br />

trinkets remain a mainstay for the<br />

self-expressive consumer. Amulets with<br />

zodiac motifs are on the rise; Van Cleef<br />

& Arpels hop aboard the celestial trend<br />

with a series of bold colourful pendants<br />

crafted from polished yellow gold<br />

embellished with semi-precious slates<br />

of jade, jasper, turquoise and amazonite.<br />

Image credit: Van Cleef & Arpels<br />

Image credit: @dropsbyjay's Instagram<br />

Stranger Things<br />

Weird, wacky and wonderful<br />

jewellery news from around the world<br />

No bones about it<br />

4A ground-breaking collaboration<br />

between the University of Western<br />

Australia and biotech company<br />

Marine Biomedical has discovered<br />

that mother-of-pearl may be<br />

used as a synthetic bone<br />

substitute. Doctors had<br />

traditionally used calcium<br />

carbonate or limestone as in the<br />

past, but Professor Minghao Zheng<br />

from UWA believes that PearlBone<br />

is a better alternative for patients<br />

who require bone grafting and<br />

reconstructive surgery.<br />

A clean sweepstake<br />

4A 34-carat diamond was almost<br />

mistaken for a cubic zirconia as it<br />

sat on the desk of a valuer before it<br />

was sent off to experts in Belgium<br />

for verification. The huge stone<br />

belongs to an English woman in<br />

her 70s who was was cleaning<br />

out her Northumberland home.<br />

Valued at £2 million, the stone is<br />

being kept under lock and key at<br />

London's Hatton Garden until its<br />

auction later this month.<br />

Afterpay's Money<br />

app has launched in<br />

Australia, offering<br />

new traditional<br />

banking functions<br />

to users.<br />

Digital Brainwave<br />

4Money by Afterpay will move beyond<br />

buy now, pay later transactions and more<br />

towards ‘traditional’ banking by offering<br />

a savings account and a debit card to its<br />

users via Westpac. It aims to become the<br />

default financial management tool for young<br />

Australians.<br />

Afterpay says the accounts won't charge fees<br />

and a 1% interest rate will be paid on savings.<br />

The app will offer social media-inspired<br />

insights based on account balances and its<br />

buy now, pay later usage, granting users a<br />

one-stop overview of a their financial position.<br />

Campaign Watch<br />

4Tiffany & Co collaborates with cult<br />

fashion brand Supreme releasing an<br />

androgynous six-piece collection.<br />

Paying a playful tribute to its Return<br />

to Tiffany collection, the taglines now<br />

read Return to Supreme and rehash<br />

classic Tiffany designs. With versatile<br />

pearls to sterling silver keychains, a<br />

star bracelet, and heart tag earrings,<br />

this collaboration is set to draw crowds<br />

of brand-savvy Gen-Zs.<br />

Need to see kelp<br />

4Sottish artist Iona Turner has been<br />

selected by the Scottish Goldsmiths<br />

Trust and Lyon & Turnbull for an<br />

online exhibition featuring pieces<br />

of jewellery made from foraged<br />

seaweed. Using only sustainable<br />

materials, the 22-year-old’s pieces<br />

feature necklaces and earrings to<br />

brooches fashioned from the washed<br />

up knotted-wrack seaweed, which<br />

dries in varying shapes and colours<br />

depending on the time of year and<br />

which beach it comes from.<br />


Published by Befindan Media Pty Ltd<br />

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

Publisher Angela Han angela.han@jewellermagazine.com • Journalists James Briggs james.briggs@jewellermagazine.com | Richard Chiu editorial@jewellermagazine.com<br />

Production Coordinator Lauren McKinnon art@befindanmedia.com • Advertising Toli Podolak toli.podolak@jewellermagazine.com • Accounts Paul Blewitt finance@befindanmedia.com<br />

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

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<br />

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<br />

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<br />

arising from the published material.

Colours of<br />

Chemgold<br />

Your Casting Specialist<br />

Largest Range Of Alloys<br />

Personalised Service<br />

1300 984 751 | sales@chemgold.com | www.chemgold.com

News<br />

Apprentice wins coveted opal<br />

jewellery prize<br />

Two entrants tie for coveted TAFE Queensland<br />

<strong>Jeweller</strong>y Apprentice of the Year award.<br />

Two people were awarded <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Apprentice<br />

of the Year in TAFE Queensland’s annual design<br />

competition. It's the first in the 18-year history<br />

of the training institution that dual winners were<br />

awarded the top honour.<br />

Adrian Hogan's 'Reef Glow' won the Emerging category.<br />

Third-year apprentice Adrian Hogan has won the<br />

Emerging Category – <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Design at the Queen<br />

of Gems International <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Design Awards,<br />

which are hosted by the Queensland Boulder Opal<br />

Association and held during the annual Opal Festival<br />

in Winton.<br />

Hogan’s entry, 'Reef Glow', is an ocean-inspired<br />

pendant necklace featuring a blue Queensland<br />

boulder opal set in finely polished gold and platinum.<br />

Describing the creation of his piece, Hogan – a<br />

self-described “opal addict” – said, “I was inspired to<br />

create this piece by rays of starlight and the rich glow<br />

of a coral reef. The rolling curves of the star's rays<br />

take influences from the slow waves of the ocean and<br />

the natural flow of the body of a sea urchin.”<br />

Hogan was awarded $1,000 in prize money and<br />

a certificate. Alongside running opal cutting and<br />

dealing business, Match Maker Opals, Hogan is<br />

currently undertaking a Certificate III in <strong>Jeweller</strong>y<br />

Manufacture at TAFE Queensland, combined with an<br />

apprenticeship with Matthew Alexander <strong>Jeweller</strong> in<br />

Brisbane.<br />

Dr Brian Heim, general manager of TAFE<br />

Queensland, said of Hogan’s winning entry, “It is<br />

incredible to think that this stunning piece was<br />

created by a student who is just starting in the<br />

jewellery manufacturing industry.<br />

“I’m proud that TAFE Queensland is producing<br />

apprentices with the skills that make them<br />

employable now and well into the future,” he added.<br />

Hogan plans to enter the Queen of Gems competition<br />

again in 2022 in the Professional Category, adding,<br />

“Now I need to find the perfect stone I can start<br />

cutting, polishing and bringing it to life.”<br />

The other winners at this year’s QBOA Queen of<br />

Gems International <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Design Awards were<br />

Rita Williams, whose piece 'Renewal' took the<br />

top prize, the People’s Choice Award, followed by<br />

Angela Hampton’s 'Peacock' which won the High<br />

Commendation, and Robyn Carmichael’s 'The Heart<br />

of the Reef', which earned the Commendation title.<br />

Brock Hodgson and Paul Armstrong,<br />

fourth-year apprentices from TAFE’s South<br />

Bank campus, tied. Both were awarded the<br />

Apprentice <strong>Jeweller</strong> of the Year - an awards<br />

program celebrating the talents and creativity<br />

of graduates for Certificate III in <strong>Jeweller</strong>y<br />

Manufacturing.<br />

Armstong completed an apprenticeship at<br />

Hogans Family <strong>Jeweller</strong>s, while Hodgson<br />

worked at Stephen Dibb <strong>Jeweller</strong>y.<br />

According to Jackie French, director of faculty<br />

creative arts, presenting two awards based on a<br />

tie was a surprise for the judges.<br />

"The judges and I were blown away by the<br />

quality of everyone's jewellery,” French said,<br />

acknowledging the creativity of the winners.<br />

"As we continue to recover from the pandemic,<br />

and consumers return and drive demand in<br />

the jewellery industry, TAFE Queensland must<br />

provide its apprentices with the skills they need<br />

to be employable now" French added.<br />

For his winning pieces, Armstrong made a<br />

signet ring with diamond and gold inlays and<br />

a pair of sunglasses with interchangeable<br />

lenses highlighted with gems and gold inlays<br />

in each arm of the frame, paired with matching<br />

Diamond Council redefines conflict diamonds<br />

World Diamond Council (WDC) president<br />

Edward Asscher has urged the Kimberley<br />

Process members to reassert its stand on<br />

expanding the definition of conflict diamonds to<br />

promote long-term consumer confidence.<br />

Addressing delegates during the opening<br />

session of the <strong>2021</strong> Kimberley Process<br />

Plenary in Moscow, Asscher noted that young<br />

consumers are becoming increasingly aware<br />

and expressing their demand to know the<br />

environmental and social credentials of their<br />

purchased products, especially diamonds.<br />

"The diamond is a product that has the<br />

potential to both speak to the aspirations of<br />

this new generation, as a natural resource with<br />

the potential of providing sustainable economic<br />

and social opportunities to the communities<br />

that produce it, or be rejected, as a nonessential<br />

luxury item,” Asscher said.<br />

“We have the ability to decide that choice, but<br />

Paul Armstrong, left and Brock Hodgson with awards.<br />

cufflinks. Hodgson crafted an intricate<br />

handmade set composed of a ring, pendant,<br />

and bracelet.<br />

"I have loved my block training through TAFE<br />

Queensland," Hodgson said.<br />

"The on-campus training blocks were so<br />

important for learning techniques."<br />

Armstrong had similar sentiments: "We all<br />

come from different backgrounds, different<br />

areas of the industry and have different career<br />

trajectories, so we share and learn a lot when<br />

we're together.<br />

Competition entrants were provided four weeks<br />

to design and create three jewellery pieces<br />

based on specific criteria. This year’s theme was<br />

“Reflections”, judging based on quality, artistry,<br />

strength, durability and wearability of designs<br />

and overall quality.<br />

we will do so only through actions and not<br />

empty words.”<br />

Asscher’s challenge came in light of what he<br />

considered as the Kimberley Process being<br />

“unable to deliver progress” on the matter,<br />

asking delegates, “why do we persistently fail<br />

to make substantive progress on expanding the<br />

definition of conflict diamonds – a move that<br />

almost all of us understands is necessary?”<br />

The WDC president reiterated a statement he<br />

made during the KP inter-sessional meeting in<br />

June about the risks of an emerging two-tier<br />

diamond industry.<br />

"The upper, more established tier of<br />

companies, which are able to independently<br />

monitor their supply chains, is able to meet<br />

consumer expectations. But the lower, less<br />

established tier, will see its market share<br />

diminishing, often through no fault of its own,"<br />

Asscher said.<br />

14 | <strong>December</strong> <strong>2021</strong>

News<br />

More turmoil at Baselworld; 2022 show cancelled,<br />

managing director resigns<br />

Strong momentum seen for<br />

trading until <strong>December</strong><br />

As predicted, jewellery trading has been gaining<br />

strong momentum for the first half of November<br />

and expected to carry on until the end of the year as<br />

businesses are reopening throughout Australia since<br />

the COVID-19 lockdown.<br />

Overall, Retail Edge’s mid-month report for 1<br />

November to 15 November showed the ‘bounce back’<br />

with sales in dollars up by 8 per cent compared with<br />

November 2020 and a significant increase of more<br />

than 28 per cent in November 2019.<br />



Visitors gather in the Messe Basel in more successful times for the once mighty watch and jewellery fair.<br />

As if the chaos and confusion surrounding<br />

Baselworld over the past two years has not<br />

been enough, the show's organiser MCH Group<br />

has announced the cancellation of the Spring<br />

2022 event, scheduled for 30 March -5 April.<br />

A brief media statement issued on 12<br />

November (European time) on the MCH Group<br />

website stated: “Baselworld organisers have<br />

decided to take more time for the launch of the<br />

new concept. Baselworld, scheduled for spring<br />

2022, will therefore not take place.”<br />

The move has also triggered a decision by<br />

Baselworld’s managing director Michel Loris-<br />

Melikoff to leave the company.<br />

The announcement is sure to surprise the<br />

international watch and jewellery industry<br />

given that only five months ago MCH declared<br />

that the newly invented name – HourUniverse<br />

– created to re-launch the show after years<br />

of turmoil, had been scrapped in favour of<br />

returning to the original ‘Baselworld’ brand.<br />

On 23 June this year, a media statement<br />

announced: “Baselworld was held for the last<br />

time in 2019. Now it is back in March-April<br />

2022, and it will be very different.<br />

“Instead of focusing on the spectacular<br />

appearance of luxury brands in the watch,<br />

jewellery and gemstone sector, the new<br />

Baselworld will primarily be a B2B platform in<br />

the mid-range luxury segment.<br />

The future concept combines trends in the<br />

experience marketing market with the needs of<br />

the entire community in the mid-and high-end<br />

segment of the watch, jewellery and gemstone<br />

industry.”<br />

However, less than five months later, Beat<br />

Zwahlen, CEO MCH Group said, “Over the<br />

past few months, we have studied in detail our<br />

watches, jewellery and gems ecosystem and<br />

gained important insights from discussions<br />

with major industry representatives.<br />

"The conclusion is that the market exists for a<br />

B2B2C platform that brings together mediumsized<br />

and specialised manufacturers with<br />

independent retailers. But their needs must be<br />

analysed in more detail. This means we need to<br />

have significantly more time to get there.”<br />

The 12 November media statement explained<br />

that the decision to cancel the 2022 event was<br />

“based on the one hand on the experience<br />

gained from the Pop Up Event at the Geneva<br />

Watch Days and on intensive discussions with<br />

manufacturers and retailers.<br />

"On the other hand, it takes into account the<br />

fact that it is particularly difficult to launch a<br />

new concept for a new target segment due<br />

to the renewed aggravation of the COVID<br />

situation and the associated uncertainty among<br />

customers.”<br />

It also added that Michel Loris-Melikoff<br />

managing director “has decided to leave the<br />

company and take on a new challenge.”<br />

Loris-Melikoff joined the management team of<br />

Baselworld in 2018 following the resignation of<br />

Sylvie Ritter, who had been managing director<br />

of Baselworld for 15 years. Ritter quit in May,<br />

after the 2018 edition of the show.<br />

Michel Loris-Melikoff was named as her<br />

successor and assumed the position of<br />

managing director on 1 July.<br />

“In a short period of time, he [Loris-Melikoff]<br />

managed to gain access to the industry and win<br />

its respect,” the media statement explained.<br />

“He initiated and helped shape the necessary<br />

transformation and repositioning of Baselworld.<br />

The MCH Group regrets his decision. It thanks<br />

him for his tireless commitment and wishes<br />

him all the best for his future engagements.”<br />

Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, it means<br />

that only one event had taken place in the three<br />

years of Loris-Melikoff's management.<br />

The strongest growth was seen on average retail<br />

(inventory) that increased by 9 per cent compared to<br />

last year, but a more significant rise at 22 per cent in<br />

2019.<br />

According to Mike Dyer of Retail Edge, this is the<br />

first time since the lockdown that the industry is able<br />

to make an “apples to apples” sales comparison<br />

and they show the figures to help businesses get<br />

motivated by seeing the increased activity in jewellery<br />

sales and consumer spending.<br />

“In fact, we felt it was so important to give the<br />

industry some insight, and hopefully some<br />

motivation, after another very challenging period,<br />

that we produced this information with a positive<br />

vibe,” Dyer said.<br />

While sales units saw a slight increase of 0.2 percent<br />

compared with November 2020, it was higher at 5<br />

percent compared with November 2019.<br />

Diamond jewellery sales dollars increased by 33<br />

percent at $2.2 million, compared to $1.6 million in<br />

November 2020, but it was significantly higher at 72<br />

per cent based on a two-year comparison.<br />

However, precious metal jewellery (no gemstone)<br />

saw a 6 per cent decline in sales dollars at $170,000<br />

compared with $182,000 in November 2020, but<br />

saw an increase of 9 per cent based on a two-year<br />

comparison.<br />

“These numbers portray and reinforce that so get<br />

on board, get motivated and get selling (and) hoping<br />

that this first half momentum continues through the<br />

balance of November and provides early impetus into<br />

<strong>December</strong>,” Dyer added.<br />

Sales trends for Australian jewellers could be very encouraging<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2021</strong> | 15

News<br />

Nationwide breakthrough report<br />

Featuring the<br />

delicate pink tone of<br />

Argyle pink diamonds<br />

Nationwide <strong>Jeweller</strong>s has launched its Merchandise Performance<br />

report that can provide members with access to vital sales and<br />

product data to help independent retailers achieve better sales and<br />

improve stock turnover rates.<br />

Colin Pocklington, managing director, Nationwide <strong>Jeweller</strong>s said<br />

the new reporting ‘tool’ will be integrated into a store’s point-ofsale<br />

(POS) system and will be exclusively available to Nationwide<br />

members, calling it a major breakthrough for independent jewellers.<br />

“Our objective was to provide independent jewellers with some of<br />

the tools that until now, have only been available to chain stores. The<br />

chain stores have instant access to information that identifies the<br />

best-selling products across their store network,” Pocklington said.<br />

The Merchandise Performance report is currently accessible to<br />

members using The Edge POS system of Retail Edge Consultants<br />

and, according to Pocklington, the software is aimed at substantially<br />

increasing sales for independent retailers by determining the bestselling<br />

products by price range, department, and supplier so they<br />

know how to craft their retail strategies.<br />

“This plays a major part in their ability to maximise sales, and is one<br />

of the key reasons why the sales in the average jewellery chain store<br />

are 2.5 times greater than sales in the average independent jewellery<br />

store,” Pocklington said.<br />

He explained that most chain stores have an average turnover of $2<br />

million a year, which is 2.5–3 times larger than the average annual<br />

sales of $750,000 for independent stores.<br />

According to Pocklington, the same data is used by chain stores in<br />

marketing products on a national level, to determine which products<br />

and suppliers generate higher sales, and strategically identify which<br />

best-selling products to leverage based on location throughout<br />

Australia and New Zealand.<br />

“The two reports will assist our members to achieve substantial<br />

increases in sales, and improvements in stock turn rates,”<br />

Pocklington added.<br />

The Merchandise Performance will complement the existing onepage<br />

Retail Management Report that was made available in the Retail<br />

Edge system ten years ago. Nationwide will support members who<br />

wish to migrate to the Retail Edge POS system. .<br />

E pink@samsgroup.com.au W samsgroup.com.au P 02 9290 2199

News<br />

New Australian sapphire gemstone jewellery range launched<br />

SAMS Group Australia has introduced a new<br />

range of Australian sapphire jewellery. Sapphire<br />

Dreams includes a wide range of sapphire and<br />

sapphire-and-diamond jewellery set in 9 or<br />

18-carat gold, as well as loose sapphires.<br />

Steve der Bedrossian, CEO SAMS Group Australia,<br />

told <strong>Jeweller</strong>: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the<br />

response and had our full quota of stockists<br />

fulfilled within weeks of releasing the range,”<br />

going on to explain that “we’ve exceeded any<br />

expectation we had, and the feedback for the<br />

stock has been exceptional, indeed virtually every<br />

piece has been accounted for.<br />

Australia is enriched with amazing treasures. Sapphire Dreams pays tribute to the beauty of<br />

natural Australian sapphires, ethically sourced from the sapphire fields of inland Eastern Australia.<br />

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

To achieve this level of uncompromised excellence, all sapphires pass through the hands of our<br />

skilled gem cutters to become one-of-a-kind, timeless masterpieces.<br />

The brand aims to showcase the wide variety of<br />

colours of Australian sapphires, including the<br />

iconic teal shade, parti-colour, orange, and blue.<br />

“I love Australian products, and I always try<br />

to use unique materials that are sourced in<br />

Australia. The colours of Australian sapphires<br />

are amazing, and there was no brand around<br />

Australian sapphires, so I realised that it was<br />

something that I could create.”<br />

Promotional material for the new collection<br />

explains: “Sapphire Dreams pays tribute to<br />

the beauty of Australian sapphires, celebrating<br />

the art of craftsmanship and contemporary<br />

jewellery designs. Proudly Australian owned<br />

and operated, we have more than 50 years of<br />

experience in luxury jewellery and working with<br />

Australian gemstones. All of our products are<br />

of impeccable quality, ethically sourced and<br />

expertly crafted.”<br />

Der Bedrossian explained that “Sapphire<br />

Dreams is the first of its kind and the only<br />

Australian jewellery brand that celebrates<br />

Australian sapphires and their breathtaking<br />

colour range, which is unlike anywhere else in<br />

the world. Many other brands use sapphires<br />

from elsewhere, including Sri Lanka, Thailand<br />

and Burma [Myanmar], while we, on the<br />

other hand, wanted to honour the Australian<br />

provenance of these mesmerising gems.<br />

“We have also created a unique certification<br />

and inscription process to verify the origin and<br />

authenticity of every sapphire.”<br />

Each Sapphire Dreams gemstone bears an<br />

inscription on the girdle and is accompanied by<br />

a verified Sapphire Dreams certificate of origin,<br />

with der Bedrossian saying, “We only supply and<br />

work with ethically-sourced Australian gems<br />

that are natural and origin-certified."<br />

Sapphire Dreams has been recently launched with success.<br />

Call SGA today to become an Authorised Stockist<br />

SapphireDreams.com.au 02 9290 2199

News<br />

Kunming Diamonds breaks records with final tender<br />

Named Once in a Blue Moon this Tender collection consists of 41 lots of carefully curated Argyle blue and violet diamonds. .<br />

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Rio Tinto’s recent and final diamond tender included<br />

'Once in a Blue Moon', a rare collection of blue<br />

and violet diamonds that were won by Kumning<br />

Diamonds, a Hong Kong-based specialist colour<br />

diamond supplier.<br />

Kumning purchased the entire 41-lot Argyle<br />

collection – totalling 24.88 carats – which was titled<br />

the Once in a Blue Moon Tender.<br />

The Argyle mine in the East Kimberley region of<br />

Western Australia is best know for its pink diamond<br />

production however, small blue and violet diamonds<br />

were the occasionally discovered. They have been<br />

described as “a beautiful array of shades”.<br />

Following the tender, a Rio Tinto media release<br />

stated that “with the closure of Argyle it is extremely<br />

unlikely that there will ever be another collective<br />

offering of iconic gems in this colour spectrum from<br />

a single mine.”<br />

Sinead Kaufman, chief executive Rio Tinto said,<br />

”The rarity and beauty of the Once in a Blue Moon<br />

diamonds speaks volumes. They are highly coveted,<br />

the ultimate limited edition and we congratulate<br />

Kunming Diamonds on their global bid.”<br />

Kunming Diamonds, which has had a log<br />

association with Argyle’s pink diamonds, is a<br />

founding member of the Hong Kong Indian<br />

Diamond Association, an honorary member of the<br />

Natural Colored Diamond Association (NCDIA), and<br />

a member of the Fancy Color Research Foundation.<br />

Harsh Maheshwari, executive director Kunming<br />

Diamonds said, "We are delighted to be part of<br />

Argyle's legacy in this historical moment, acquiring<br />

the Once in a Blue Moon collection. We cherish<br />

becoming the custodians of the final Australian<br />

treasures from this iconic and industry-defining<br />

mine, and look forward to unearthing the incredible<br />

possibilities in the years to come."<br />

He added, “Beyond the fact that this collection is<br />

nature's finest and ultimate treasures, the Once in<br />

a Blue Moon collection was the climax of the mine's<br />

billion-year-old heritage, and its historic ascent of<br />

over three decades to the pinnacle of luxury.”<br />

The closure of the mine has meant that diamond<br />

suppliers have to consider life after Argyle.<br />

“We only had one thought in mind whilst seeing<br />

them and placing our bids, it will be extremely<br />

unlikely that there will ever be another cumulative<br />

offering of iconic gems in this colour, of blue and<br />

violet, spectrum from a single mine,” Maheshwari<br />

explained.<br />

According to Maheshwari, it meant that "there was<br />

a lot of sentiment and psychological price additional<br />

paid to be confident at this Tender."<br />

In other news, Rio also conducted a pink diamond<br />

tender consisting of 70 rare pink and red stones.<br />

The collection, titled The Journey Beyond, is a<br />

historical collection mined at Argyle in the final year.<br />

According to a Rio statement, the tender was<br />

a “record breaking price performance across<br />

individual diamonds and for the overall collection.<br />

The diamonds were fiercely contested around<br />

the world in a series of virtual and face-to-face<br />

viewings.”<br />

There were 19 successful bidders from nine<br />

countries.<br />

Australian jeweller, John Calleija, won Lot 1, Argyle<br />

Eclipse, a 3.47-carat, radiant shaped fancy intense<br />

pink diamond. He was also the successful bidder<br />

for Lot Number 5, Argyle Bohème, a 1.01-carat,<br />

radiant shaped, fancy red diamond.<br />

“It is an extraordinary opportunity and a privilege to<br />

be part of this historic collection. We are humbled<br />

to be the custodians of these uniquely Australian<br />

jewels and are delighted to be part of their enduring<br />

legacy,” Calleija said.<br />

Other bidders won three diamonds from the<br />

collection. Lot 2, Argyle Stella and Lot 4, Argyle<br />

Solaris were purchased by Singapore interests,<br />

while Lot 3, Argyle Lumiere went to the US.<br />

Maheshwari said that COVID-19 had impacted the<br />

most significant factor when placing a bid for these<br />

quality diamonds: the travel to physically view the<br />

stones, “but it's <strong>2021</strong> and technology has proven to<br />

be an integral part to the success of the Signature<br />

Tender - only around a third of the participants.<br />

viewed the collection virtually.”

News<br />

Lightbox issues new treatment policy<br />


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Lightbox's new policy of disclosing treatments covers D to F-colour stones.<br />

Lightbox, the De Beers-owned lab-created diamond jewellery business,<br />

has announced its new policy of disclosing treatments used in the<br />

creation of grown diamonds but still maintains such declarations are<br />

optional.<br />

The new policy covers D to F-colour stones of its Finest collection<br />

and VVS-clarity stones launched as a primary offering in August. The<br />

diamonds are created using chemical vapour deposition (CVD) and high<br />

pressure-high temperature (HPHT) annealing to improve the stones’<br />

colour through a later heating-and-cooling process.<br />

“It was important to us to be transparent with the consumer that the<br />

higher price per carat for a Finest stone is reflective of the additional<br />

refinement step,” a Lightbox spokesperson told Rapaport but said that<br />

any decision to make such disclosures rest with the producer.<br />

Previously, Lightbox has not been declaring treatments stating that<br />

such treatment is only a step in the entire production process and does<br />

not affect the value of the stones.<br />

A similar treatment method is used on its 1.5 to 2-carat classic line<br />

and with all stones in the standard category. According to a Lightbox<br />

spokesperson, all diamonds are supplied with a declaration.<br />

The lab standard stones - roughly G to J - are “near colourless” and<br />

have VS clarity.<br />

Lightbox stopped offering lab-created stones of up to 1 carat since it<br />

developed a cost-effective method of achieving the desired colours with<br />

bigger diamonds, but becomes more difficult as longer growing time<br />

could reduce the stone’s quality.<br />

Meanwhile, the company also started disclosures for the standard pink<br />

and blue lab-created diamonds, both of which undergo electron-beam<br />

treatment and another heat-treating process for pinks.<br />

However, standard white diamonds below 1-carat are not subjected to<br />

the treatment process.<br />



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The company has no plans for labeling products “as grown” which is<br />

commonly used in marketing diamonds that do not undergo postsynthesis<br />

treatments, according to the spokesperson who also said<br />

that Lightbox will not use it as “an excuse to not offer higher-quality<br />

products at affordable prices.”<br />

“As we expand our lab-grown diamond product range to include stones<br />

of larger size and even higher qualities, we will continue to bring our<br />

fair and transparent linear pricing to all our high-quality lab-grown<br />

diamonds, and we will look at innovative ways of continuing to deliver<br />

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News<br />

De Beers new global campaign<br />

'A diamond is forever.' – Forevermark celebrates De Beers' famous 1947 slogan.<br />

De Beers has launched a new global campaign reviving its iconic<br />

“A Diamond Is Forever” slogan and centred on human relational<br />

commitments to promote the brand.<br />

Considered to be an ambitious move by company executives, the minutelong<br />

“I Do” video highlighted the marketing strategy combining De Beers<br />

<strong>Jeweller</strong>s and De Beers Forevermark into a unified brand image.<br />

Bruce Cleaver, CEO De Beers Group said, “For more than a century, De<br />

Beers has played a central role in helping people express their enduring<br />

commitment to their partner.<br />

"Today we see a new generation of consumers who wish to communicate a<br />

wider commitment: a commitment to their own personal development, to<br />

their friendships, to their families, to society, and to the natural world.”<br />

The campaign features the diamond jewellery range of the two De<br />

Beers houses and focuses its message on the power of forging personal<br />

commitments through traditional wedding vows to inclusive gender-neutral<br />

relationships.<br />

The company also reiterated<br />

its commitment to adhering to<br />

responsible and sustainable practices<br />

with its code of origin initiative, which<br />

determines the source of natural and<br />

conflict-free diamonds.<br />

“We want to invest in the name De<br />

Beers, which we consider one of our<br />

greatest brand assets,” David Prager,<br />

De Beers executive vice president and<br />

chief brand officer, told JCK.<br />

“It’s a far more diverse and inclusive<br />

campaign that you’ve seen from us before and, frankly, that you’ve seen<br />

any diamond jewellery brand. It understands the diamond dream is for<br />

everyone,” Prager said.<br />

“The launch of the campaign marks a turning point for De Beers, and paves<br />

the way for our ongoing commitment to being a purpose-driven company.<br />

Solid Gold Collection<br />

Established for over five decades, Classique is renowned<br />

for high quality, elegant and ageless timepieces.<br />

Classique’s range of Solid Gold watches come in various designs, some<br />

featuring diamonds and are engineered with Swiss made movements.<br />

Suitable for every occasion. Stylish, modern, classic, and timeless pieces.<br />

"Our two <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Houses come from one powerful brand that is proud to<br />

stand for commitments by people all over the world, to what means most to<br />

them,” Celine Assimon, chief executive officer, De Beers <strong>Jeweller</strong>s and De<br />

Beers Forevermark said.<br />

“We lead by example, committing to creating a positive impact in the places<br />

where our diamonds are found, and for the people that connect with them<br />

along their journey,” Assimon added.<br />

The “I Do” campaign marks a new strategy in De Beers' 133-year history.<br />


News<br />

Crime gang apologises to Graff <strong>Jeweller</strong>s over ransom data leak<br />

Having hacked and stolen information from<br />

luxury jewellery, Graff, the notorious Russianbased<br />

ransomware hacker Conti apologised to<br />

several high-profile identities after having leaked<br />

their personal and sensitive information on the<br />

Dark Web last month.<br />

In an unusual twist for a criminal gang, Conti<br />

released a statement on 4 November saying:<br />

“We found that our sample data was not properly<br />

reviewed before being uploaded to the blog”<br />

and it assured Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar<br />

families whose names appeared on the leak that<br />

any information pertaining to the royal family<br />

members “will be deleted without any exposure<br />

and review.”<br />

The gang specifically mentioned Saudi Crown<br />

Prince Mohammad bin Salman, in response<br />

to the Daily Mail UK's report of the Graff data<br />

attack, which also included details of high-profile<br />

clients former US President Donald Trump,<br />

as well as celebrities Oprah Winfrey and David<br />

Beckham, among others.<br />

It removed 69,000 documents posted online<br />

following the apology, which they claimed<br />

represented only 1 per cent of their total haul<br />

but assured that none of the stolen files was<br />

“sold on auctions or offered as samples, or<br />

revealed in any other capacity to any third party.”<br />

Cybersecurity experts believe that the<br />

unexpected response from the crime syndicate<br />

could have been borne out of fear of possible<br />

repercussions from any of those customers on<br />

the list, among them are Middle East leaders.<br />

Former British military intelligence officer<br />

Phillip Ingram told Daily Mail that Conti could be<br />

worried about upsetting the Saudi Crown Prince,<br />

who was suspected in the past of ordering<br />

cyberattacks against enemies and sanctioning<br />

the assassination of a Saudi dissident. Salman is<br />

also believed to be an ally of Russian President<br />

Vladimir Putin.<br />

The orchestrated attack was aimed at extorting<br />

Graff for multi-million-dollar blackmail in<br />

exchange for the hacked files that included<br />

invoices, client lists, receipts, and credit details<br />

of the jeweller’s clientele.<br />

Despite the removal of the controversial<br />

documents, the group threatened to publish –<br />

after a more “rigid” review - information from the<br />

Graff files “regarding the financial declarations<br />

made by the US-UK-EU Neo-liberal plutocracy,”<br />

which they believe are engaged in expensive<br />

purchases as their territories “are crumbling<br />

under the economic crisis, unemployment, and<br />

COVID.”<br />

According to global technology consultancy<br />

firm Unit 42 of Palo Alto Networks, the FBI<br />

has connected the syndicate to more than 400<br />

cyberattacks worldwide - three-quarters of<br />

which were carried out in the US - with blackmail<br />

demands of up to $US25 million.<br />

In other crime news, Spanish authorities have<br />

arrested a Croatian national in Barcelona<br />

believed to be a member of the notorious crime<br />

gang, The Pink Panthers.<br />

The suspect is wanted in Germany for a string<br />

of jewellery heists worth around 715,000 euros<br />

($AU1.12 million). He was wanted for assault<br />

and battery, robbery with violence, and illegal<br />

possession of weapons.<br />

The Pink Panthers is an international criminal<br />

network of jewellery robbers who carried<br />

out carefully planned heists publicly in broad<br />

daylight. The gang is believed to have been<br />

operating for nearly two decades when a fiveperson<br />

team stole the Millennium necklace in<br />

2002.<br />

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News<br />

S&S<br />



Swarovski introduces new board of<br />

directors as a company milestone<br />

Austria-based jewellery company Swarovski has announced its newly<br />

constituted board of directors composed of the founder’s family<br />

members and independent shareholders.<br />

Considered to be a “milestone in company history” after breaking<br />

tradition of keeping its business affairs within the family since inception,<br />

a Swarovski media statement advised that the designation is “in<br />

accordance with the basic principles of the new governance and the<br />

pursuit of new impulses and external expertise.”<br />

The new committee will “act as a link to improve management between<br />

the owner families and the company.” The non-family members are<br />

Luisa Delgado who was elected as the new board chair, Annalisa<br />

Loustau Elia, Markus Fiechter, Manuel Martinez and Robert Singer.<br />

Family members who will continue to serve on the board are Robert<br />

Buchbauer- who has been elected as the board’s vice chair, Markus<br />

Langes-Swarovski, and Mathias Margreiter.<br />

The board assumed their roles effective 15 November and are tasked to<br />

expedite the process of finalising the vacant positions for chief executive<br />

officer and chief finance officer of the company.<br />

Delgado is currently the head of Schleich - a toy company based in<br />

Germany - and former CEO of eyewear company Safilo Group.<br />

Non-family board members Elia previously served as EVP of Cartier<br />

and CMO for Groupe Printemps of France; Feichter was the former CEO<br />

of Jacobs Holding AG; Martinez- board chair for shoe giant Bally, and<br />

Singer- former CFO of Gucci Group and COO of Abercrombie & Fitch.<br />

The company, which was established by Daniel Swarovski in 1895<br />

and has been run and controlled by the founder’s descendants, was<br />

reportedly marred with power struggles among family members that<br />

prompted calls for a leadership revamp.<br />

Haute Jewels Geneva 2022 to showcase<br />

16 jewellery brands at event<br />

It’s all systems go for Haute Jewels Geneva 2022 on 30 March to 5 April<br />

2022, with 16 of the world’s finest jewellery brands joining the exhibit at<br />

the Fairmont Grand Hotel in Switzerland.<br />

Haute Jewels Geneva is expected to be “bigger and better, promising to<br />

be a glorious celebration of fine jewels,” according to organisers, where<br />

exhibitors will be showcasing their artisan creations offering a “unique<br />

yet like-minded approach” to haute jewellery craftsmanship.<br />

“We are thrilled (to) be returning again in 2022,” Michael Hakimian,<br />

Haute Jewels Geneva founder and CEO Yoko London, said.<br />

“This unique show is a collaboration between sixteen harmonious<br />

brands, bringing together their expertise to create a forward-thinking<br />

event that addresses the needs of the supplierand the buyer in our<br />

fast-moving world”.<br />

Some of the participating jewellery brands include: Yoko London,<br />

Roberto Coin, Sutra, Crivelli, Bayco, Etho Maria, Stenzhorn, Marco<br />

Bicego, Mariani, Palmiero, Picchiotti, Gorgoglione, and Hans D. Krieger.<br />

Ph: +61 3 9587 1215<br />

Email: info@stonesandsilver.com.au<br />

stonesandsilver.com.au<br />

“Spring 2022 really feels like a brand-new start for the industry, as<br />

important trade events are finally going to take place in person,” Maria<br />

Carola Picchiotti, director of marketing and communications, Picchiotti<br />

told JCK.

News<br />

7,525-carat emerald; one of the largest<br />

emeralds discovered in Africa<br />

A 7,525-carat emerald weighing 1.5 kilograms has been discovered<br />

in the Kagem mine in Africa, which is the biggest of the three large<br />

emeralds mined from the same area since 2010.<br />

The emerald was named Chipembele – which translates to ‘rhino’<br />

in the local Bemba dialect and the largest – to date, followed by<br />

the 6,225-carat Insofu meaning ‘elephant’ mined in 2010 and the<br />

5,655-carat Inkalamu or ‘lion’ in 2018.<br />

According to UK-based Gemfields, which owns and operates the<br />

emerald mine in partnership with the Zambian government’s Industrial<br />

Development Corporation, the naming of uncut emeralds is a practiced<br />

tradition reserved for the rarest and most remarkable gems.<br />

The gemstone was discovered in July by geologists Manas<br />

Banerjee and Richard Kapeta - leader of the team who also<br />

discovered Inkalamu in October 2018 - whose team were surprised by<br />

the discovery and remarked that the gemstone looked like a rhino’s<br />

horn, hence its name.<br />

According to Jackson Mtonga, assistant manager, Kagem Sort<br />

House, “A key Gemfields tenet is that Africa’s gemstone wealth must<br />

contribute meaningfully not only to host-country economies, but also to<br />

conservation efforts, host communities and the next generation by way<br />

of education, healthcare and livelihoods projects.<br />

“We are delighted that the legacy of Chipembele will support<br />

rhinoceros conservation efforts, bringing a positive impact to<br />

conservation communities in Zambia.”<br />

Timeless Elegance<br />

Chipembele will be auctioned and a share of the proceeds will assist<br />

funding the black rhinoceros conservation efforts of the North Luangwa<br />

Conservation Program in Zambia.<br />

Winning bidders shall have the option to have their stones subjected<br />

to the provenance proof service using a unique DNA nano-tag identity<br />

certification developed by the Gübelin Gem Lab of Switzerland.<br />

The certification process, also known as the Emerald Paternity Test,<br />

involves the use of nanoparticles coded into the stone containing details<br />

such as its origin, miner, mine location, and date of production.<br />

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News<br />

Grown Diamond Association launches IGDA 2.0<br />

The International Grown Diamond Association<br />

(IGDA) has launched IGDA 2.0, which is a<br />

completely revamped version of the trade<br />

association aimed at supporting and serving the<br />

rapidly expanding lab-created diamond industry.<br />

“IGDA 2.0 will provide focused services to support<br />

the growing number of global lab-grown diamond<br />

companies,” Dick Garard, executive director, said.<br />

“We have an aggressive strategic plan that<br />

begins with the involvement of the entire global<br />

lab-grown diamond industry, many longtime<br />

supporters, and the welcome addition of newer,<br />

younger members.”<br />

The event was highlighted by the launch of its<br />

new website, announcement of a new wideranging<br />

board of advisors, distribution of a<br />

new consumer point of sale and promotional<br />

materials, sales associates training, and a newly<br />

established network of international chapters.<br />

Other priorities of the association include<br />

educating consumers and promoting lab-created<br />

diamonds internationally.<br />

“Clearly consumer interest in the lab-grown<br />

diamond category is growing rapidly and<br />

globally,” Anna-Mieke Anderson, founder, and<br />

CEO of US-based lab-created diamond retailer<br />

MiaDonna, told Instore.<br />

“In response to the consumer demand, there<br />

has been a significant increase in the number<br />

of retailers stocking the product, as well as<br />

an expansion in the number of designers<br />

and manufacturers incorporating lab-grown<br />

diamonds into jewellery styles.”<br />

IGDA was established in 2016 as a nonprofit<br />

group to serve as the centre for education,<br />

communication, and development of the<br />

lab-created diamonds industry worldwide.<br />

China’s lab-created production hit by power crisis<br />

Liu told Bloomberg that around three million<br />

carats of lab-created diamonds are produced<br />

annually in China, which is almost half of the<br />

seven million carats made globally each year.<br />

While the impact is “not too significant so far,”<br />

according to Liu, producers have expressed<br />

plans to increase prices without providing<br />

specific details.<br />

Manufacturer of<br />

High Quality Findings<br />

Since 1975<br />

9K, 10K, 14K, & 18K Gold<br />

1/20 14K Gold Filled<br />

Sterling Silver<br />

TEL: 001.585.292.0770<br />

sales@jkfindings.com<br />

www.jkfindings.com<br />

HPHT Cubic Press Machines in action.<br />

The current energy crisis in China has taken<br />

its toll on the country’s lab-created diamond<br />

industry, as production dropped by 10-15 per cent<br />

in the past month or so which could cause prices<br />

to increase towards the end of the year.<br />

The rising prices for coal used for power<br />

generation and the effects of the COVID-19<br />

pandemic were blamed for the power shortages,<br />

according to Liu Houxiang, a consultant at China’s<br />

National Gemstone Testing Center.<br />

Police have charged a 42-year-old man who was<br />

allegedly running a diamond scam that earned<br />

him more than a million dollars.<br />

The Melbourne man claimed that he owned a<br />

diamond mine in Sierra Leone. He is accused<br />

of scamming three people by offering them the<br />

opportunity to ‘invest’ in his mine.<br />

After an initial down payment, people were asked<br />

The manufacture of lab-created diamonds<br />

requires extreme temperature and pressure to<br />

replicate the diamond-making process and can<br />

only be achieved when power demand is met.<br />

However, the lab-created diamond industry is not<br />

the only industry impacted by the power shortage<br />

that started in the Chinese summer. Among the<br />

hardest hit since September are manufacturing<br />

companies such as apparel factories, metal<br />

producers, and suppliers for Apple products.<br />

Currently, China is one of the largest producer<br />

and consumer markets for lab-created diamonds<br />

in the world for use in jewellery, technology,<br />

medical, and industrial use.<br />

Diamond fraudster charged after $1 million scam<br />

to provide equipment and gifts for his staff, and<br />

after receiving the items the man sold them<br />

offshore.<br />

It was a profitable con, as police said that the<br />

three alleged victims provided the man with more<br />

than $1.4 million combined, with one providing<br />

the man with more than $1 million, and the other<br />

two ‘investing’ at least $100,000 each.

News<br />

Colour diamonds continue to impress<br />

The 2.83 carat oval cut Argyle Violet, graded Fancy Deep Grayish Bluish Violet colour.<br />

The latest data from the Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF) indicates<br />

blue diamond prices have further increased in price and done so again<br />

more than pink diamonds over the third quarter of <strong>2021</strong>.<br />

The Q3 <strong>2021</strong> edition of the Fancy Color Diamond Index – which tracks prices<br />

of blue, pink, and yellow diamonds traded in New York, Tel Aviv, Geneva, and<br />

Hong Kong – showed prices continued to rise across the board, with a 0.7<br />

per cent increase this quarter, and a 1.1 per cent increase over the year.<br />

The general increase was led by blues stones, which increased by 0.8 per<br />

cent, with Pinks and Yellows following closely behind at 0.7 per cent and 0.6<br />

per cent respectively.<br />

"Pink diamond prices continued to rise in Q3, led by the Fancy and Fancy<br />

Vivid grade categories. Fancy Pink 1-carats rose by 1.8 per cent and Fancy<br />

Vivid Pink 5 carats rose by 1.7 per cent. The lowest performance was seen<br />

in the 3-carat category in the Fancy grade, which decreased by -0.3%.".<br />

According to FCRF Advisory Board member, Eden Rachminov, “This<br />

increase was actually expected, as Fancy Color prices were too low for too<br />

long. In my opinion, most colors will keep increasing in price over the next<br />

two years, especially the yellow category in all grades.”<br />

Pink diamond prices continued to rise in Q3, led by the Fancy and Fancy<br />

Vivid grade categories. Fancy Pink 1-carats rose by 1.8 per cent and Fancy<br />

Vivid Pink 5 carats rose by 1.7 per cent. The lowest performance was seen<br />

in the 3-carat category in the Fancy grade, which decreased by 0.3%.<br />

Compared to the previous quarter Yellow diamond prices increased which<br />

was largely due to appreciation in the 5-10-carat weight categories.<br />

Among the smaller diamonds, 1-carat Fancy Vivid Yellow stood out, with an<br />

increase of 1.9 per cent.<br />

But it was Blue diamond prices that did best in Q3 with the Fancy Vivid Blue<br />

category seeing 8-carat stones increase by 2 per cent, while 5-carat blue<br />

diamonds rose by 1.9 per cent.The Fancy Intense grade category displayed<br />

the lowest rise of 0.4%, with 2 carats declining by 1.1%.<br />

Store closed; customers upset<br />

A Gold Coast jeweller has upset customers after agreeing to repair<br />

and sell their jewellery on consignment, and then failing to return their<br />

pieces after his store was closed.<br />

Inca Gold <strong>Jeweller</strong>s closed unexpectedly in August, leaving customers<br />

unable to retrieve the jewellery they allegedly entrusted with business<br />

owner Robert Dalton.<br />

It is still unresolved three months later, leaving some people feeling<br />

frustrated. It has been discovered that Dalton does not possess a<br />

current second-hand dealer’s license.<br />

Dissatisfied customers have contacted both the media and the<br />

Queensland Office of Fair Trading, in the hopes of resolving the matter.

On The Market<br />

1 2 3<br />

4<br />

5<br />


Product<br />

Spotlight<br />

<strong>Jeweller</strong>’s monthly compiled<br />

snapshot of the latest and greatest<br />

products to hit the market.<br />

6 7<br />

8<br />

1 UNODE50 | Timesupply Handmade in Spain with an organic design, this colourful bracelet is set with multi-coloured faceted crystals of irregular shapes in a geometric pattern set on leather strands.<br />

2 ENGELSRUFER | Pride Brands The Sun, The Moon and Stars necklace and earring set is crafted in sterling silver with blue enamel inserts with each piece finished off with a dangling star that moves with<br />

the wearer. 3 MARK MCASKILL JEWELLERY This new design aquamarine ring features a vibrant 9 x 7mm cushion cut centre stone with two 3mm trilliant cut Tanzanite side stones, framed by a fine claw<br />

set diamond halo totalling 0.23ct. Available in 9-carat or 18-carat gold. 4 RJ SCANLAN & CO. Dora has expanded its new Tantalum collection to incorporate gold. Impress customers with contrasting colours<br />

and weight which provides a point of difference from other wedding rings. 5 DJ DIAMOND DESIGNS Crafted in 18-carat white, yellow and rose gold, this outstanding dress ring is new to DJ Diamond’s recent<br />

collection. 6 SAMS GROUP AUSTRALIA Influenced by Australia’s rich heritage, Sapphire Dreams pairs premium jewellery design with sustainably sourced Australian sapphires which are available in an<br />

exquisite range of colours and settings. 7 FABULEUX VOUS Classic and modern worlds collide with these stunning freshwater pink pearl hook earrings complete with delicate sterling silver chains to add a<br />

whimsical element. 8 GERRIM Regal and glorious in the deepest of blues, the London blue topaz and diamond trio set is available now and is one of Gerrim’s all-time favourites.

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

10 Years Ago<br />

Time Machine: <strong>December</strong> 2011<br />

A snapshot of the industry events making headlines this time 10 years ago in <strong>Jeweller</strong>.<br />

Historic Headlines<br />

4 Roy King distributor in liquidation<br />

4 Tiffany and Pandora defy odds with solid profits<br />

4 Ice-Watch number one<br />

4 Liz Taylor’s ‘Crown Jewels’ to be auctioned<br />

4 Young <strong>Jeweller</strong>s Group hits three tonne<br />

Will Apple launch an iWatch?<br />

It wouldn’t be the first time a computer<br />

company entered the watch market, but<br />

Rumours about Apple Computer launching an<br />

iWatch have been around for a few years.<br />

The speculation began around the time of<br />

the iPod Nano launch and when third-party<br />

manufacturers designed plastic watchbands to<br />

hold the Nano.<br />

Arguably, wearable computers have been a<br />

reality for a long time given the wide array of<br />

high-tech digital watches already on the market,<br />

and it wouldn’t be the first time a computer<br />

company entered the watch market, but if<br />

Apple launches the iWatch could it be a gamechanger?<br />

Crazy or brilliant ad campaign?<br />

In a departure from the norm, a Norwegian<br />

jewellery company has decided that the best<br />

way to launch its new 2012 jewellery range is to<br />

douse a beautiful woman in petrol and burn her<br />

at the stake, wearing the company’s jewellery,<br />

of course!<br />

Bjørg <strong>Jeweller</strong>y created a short film titled<br />

‘Heresy’, which portrays a woman being burned<br />

at the stake. Although it’s beautifully filmed, one<br />

wonders what the message is given the viewer<br />

sees just a fleeting glimpse of the product. Blink,<br />

and you’ll miss it!<br />

The theme of the film and print advertising<br />

campaign is “Not all who wander are lost”, and<br />

the company’s website explains, "The collection<br />

makes up an odyssey of imagination, mystique<br />

and poetry, switching between dreams and reality,<br />

thus welcoming Dark Knights, Pale Moons, Magic<br />

Hours and Misty Mountains."<br />

<strong>December</strong> 2011<br />

ON THE COVER Tips to Treasure<br />

Editor’s Desk<br />

4The one and only sales secret: "If anyone<br />

wants to know the secret to making<br />

money in tough times, please stand<br />

behind your chair.” Everyone in the room<br />

stood up and the expert said, "Now turn<br />

your chair upside down".<br />

Bewildered, the staff upturned their<br />

chairs only to see an envelope taped to<br />

the bottom marked “Secret”.<br />

Inside was a crisp, new $20 note taped<br />

to a sheet, which read: There are no<br />

secrets in this world BUT … you just<br />

earned $20 by getting off your arse.<br />

When times are tough, do it more often!"<br />

Soapbox<br />

4Smile! It’s Christmas: “When I moved<br />

to Australia 20 years ago now, I<br />

constantly heard people saying the<br />

words, “No worries,” when everyone<br />

seemed worried about something.<br />

The key is to remain positive and trust<br />

your instincts. You can’t change the<br />

direction of the wind, but you are still<br />

the master and commander of your<br />

ship, so remember to adjust your<br />

sails."<br />

– Bunny Bedi, director,<br />

Made in Earth Creations<br />


Pitfalls of social media marketing:<br />

Promoting free speech and endorsing<br />

opinions via social media platforms<br />

can help businesses interact with their<br />

demographic, but it’s equally important<br />

for businesses to regulate the posts of<br />

their followers.<br />

<strong>Jeweller</strong>y World Show<br />

cancelled?<br />

Announced only weeks ago by the publisher<br />

of <strong>Jeweller</strong>y World magazine, it appears<br />

Sydney’s proposed second trade fair has<br />

already been canned.<br />

Dubbed <strong>Jeweller</strong>y World Show (JWS), the<br />

event, owned and operated by the Intermedia<br />

Group, was scheduled for 26-28 August 2012,<br />

only a week before the industry’s official<br />

JAA International <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Fair. However,<br />

rumours about the show’s early demise<br />

began circulating last week.<br />

A floorplan was issued to prospective<br />

exhibitors at the beginning of <strong>December</strong><br />

showing spaces for around 350 booths.<br />

<strong>Jeweller</strong>y World publisher, John Abolins,<br />

announced that his new, rival show was<br />

slated for Sydney’s Moore Park.<br />

Aggressive expansion<br />

for jewellery retailer<br />

Magnolia <strong>Jeweller</strong>y has plans for an<br />

aggressive expansion program in 2012,<br />

along with an increased online presence.<br />

The 27-store silver jewellery retailer is<br />

preparing to open a dozen new stores in key<br />

CBD locations and regional cities next year.<br />

Magnolia <strong>Jeweller</strong>y CEO, Nati Harpaz told<br />

<strong>Jeweller</strong> the location of the new stores will be<br />

finalised by New Year and will be opened in<br />

areas with heavy foot traffic.<br />

Harpaz believes the company is currently too<br />

small. The CEO explained that he intends to<br />

implement extensive marketing campaigns<br />

to build brand awareness.<br />



28 | <strong>December</strong> <strong>2021</strong>

INSIDE<br />

My Store<br />

Black Betty<br />

SEA POINT, CAPE TOWN & PARKHURST, JOHANNESBURG with Kristin Weixelbaumer, owner • SPACE COMPLETED 2019 & 2020<br />

4Who is the target market and how did they<br />

influence the store design?<br />

Our target market is all ages. We love seeing that<br />

journey of a young person buying their first piece<br />

of silver or gold-plated jewellery for himself or<br />

herself, to someone buying a lifelong gold piece<br />

that they’ll be able to pass down for generations.<br />

Female empowerment is a core value of ours<br />

so we generally cater towards women. We want<br />

women to be their best, most confident selves.<br />

We also encourage people to accept all parts of<br />

themselves, flaws and all. Our identity as ‘black’<br />

speaks to that beautiful part of us that is not afraid<br />

of the dark. This has been a huge influence on how<br />

we have created the space - we play up the drama<br />

with lots of black, skulls, candles etc.<br />

Then we have textures and metals that shine<br />

through beautifully, like our bright diamond that<br />

shines at the back of our Sea Point store.<br />

4With the relationship between store<br />

ambience and consumer purchasing in mind,<br />

which features in the store encourage sales?<br />

The first thing that springs to mind is our Sea<br />

Point store’s gold-painted entrance, which gives<br />

a feeling of walking into a display case filled with<br />

jewels.<br />

Our aim is to create a super creative, fun and<br />

comfortable store environment. Both stores have<br />

lovely couches to welcome customers to chat<br />

with our staff about possible bespoke pieces<br />

and to open the floor to make the jewellery<br />

experience personal. We want our customers to<br />

really feel heard so that’s an important part of<br />

our philosophy.<br />

Our ‘ear candy section’ is also a favourite. It’s<br />

where customers can look and play with designs<br />

before they get their ears pierced, and so they<br />

can carefully consider how we are piercing them<br />

and with what jewels.<br />

4What is the store design’s ‘wow factor’?<br />

The jewels, of course!<br />

30 | <strong>December</strong> <strong>2021</strong>

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INSIDE<br />

Now & Then<br />

G W Cox My <strong>Jeweller</strong><br />

Celebrating 123 Years • ADELAIDE, SA • A moment with Jon Cox, General Manager<br />


L to R: Early days of G W Cox on 23A Hindley Street, Adelaide; the team at G W Cox My <strong>Jeweller</strong>, 15 Rundle Street<br />

1898<br />

George William Cox with<br />

his wife Lillian open in<br />

Hindley Street, Adelaide<br />

opposite Miller Anderson,<br />

department store.<br />

1909<br />

George moves location<br />

to Number 1 Rundle<br />

Street, Adelaide.<br />

1916<br />

At 14 years old, Cecil<br />

James Chilton Cox<br />

joins the company.<br />

L to R: George, Cecile, Gerald & Jon Cox<br />

It has been 123 years since<br />

watchmaker George William Cox,<br />

together with his wife Lillian, opened<br />

the doors of their first jewellery store<br />

in Hindley Street, just across the road<br />

from the former Miller Anderson<br />

department store.<br />

George’s story as one of the most famous<br />

jewellers in South Australia began when<br />

his grandfather travelled from England<br />

and set foot in Adelaide sometime in 1858<br />

and established a brickworks business in<br />

the Norwood area.<br />

Wanting to make a name for himself,<br />

George learned watchmaking by<br />

working in a jewellery store in Parkes,<br />

Victoria before venturing on his own.<br />

As fate and timing would have it,<br />

Adelaide was needing another jewellery<br />

store, so he took on the challenge.<br />

In 1909, George sought to expand his<br />

small business and decided to move his<br />

store to No.1 Rundle Street - across King<br />

William Street - which turned out to be a<br />

good choice as the business grew.<br />

Cecil James Chilton Cox joined the<br />

company in 1916, shortly after his 14th<br />

birthday, and started learning the trade.<br />

His son Gerald started working for the<br />

company in 1949 and was exposed to<br />

the business at a young age when he<br />

used to run messages for the shop.<br />

In 1954, when Cecil passed away, Gerald,<br />

then 21 took over the business and<br />

credited the success of the business to<br />

its staff who supported and guided the<br />

young owner in making the G.W. Cox My<br />

<strong>Jeweller</strong> brand into what it is today.<br />

The years that followed saw the<br />

business become a family affair since<br />

Gerald’s wife Sue joined the company in<br />

1955 as a bookkeeper; followed later by<br />

their son, Jon, as General Manager and<br />

daughters, Robyn and Meredith, who<br />

worked part-time in the company.<br />

Gerald regarded their employees as<br />

part of their extended family and were<br />

instrumental in the growth of the<br />

business.<br />

Most of the staff stayed with the<br />

company until they retired from work.<br />

G.W. Cox My <strong>Jeweller</strong> has had its fair<br />

share of excitement from smash-andgrab<br />

thieves, heists, and robberies<br />

through the years. Nonetheless, the<br />

business still stands.<br />

Jon, currently General Manager, said<br />

that so much has changed over the<br />

years; “When reflecting on my time in<br />

the business, I think the biggest change<br />

has been the structure of the industry,<br />

which has come about with the use of<br />

modern technology to manage stock<br />

and marketing,” he said.<br />

“Back in the 80s, jewellery was<br />

manufactured in Australia and<br />

distributed through a network of<br />

wholesalers. If you needed a gold chain,<br />

you could wander down the road to the<br />

local wholesaler and get the chain for<br />

your client.<br />

“The client was happy to wait, you<br />

had enough staff to leave the store.<br />

Computers were a new toy”.<br />

He remembers his first week of fulltime<br />

work and an occasion where he<br />

1949<br />

Gerald Matthew Cox<br />

joins company, and runs<br />

messages and learn the<br />

business as a young<br />

teenager.<br />

1954<br />

Cecile Cox passes away<br />

and Gerald, 21, takes over<br />

the business<br />

1955<br />

As the new owner, Gerald<br />

seeks new location and<br />

moves back to Hindley<br />

Street after Rundle Street<br />

lease expires.<br />

1960<br />

Opens shop at 15 Rundle<br />

Street, opposite Myer.<br />

1966<br />

Purchases building at<br />

99 Rundle Mall.<br />

1976<br />

Jon Cox starts as<br />

Christmas Casual.<br />

1977<br />

Opens store in Tea Tree<br />

Plaza Shopping Centre<br />

1982<br />

Jon Cox joins the<br />

business. Jon and Gerald<br />

travel to Europe and the<br />

US to meet suppliers.<br />

1998<br />

Celebrates 100 Years.<br />

2003<br />

Opens store in Marion<br />

Shopping Centre<br />

2005<br />

Closes Tea Tree Plaza<br />

Shop<br />

had to visit a jewellery store directly<br />

across the road: “Dad had a client<br />

who wanted a pair of cuff links. We<br />

did not have them in stock.<br />

So, Dad said to me, ‘go and introduce<br />

yourself to Peter Wendt [store owner]<br />

and ask him if he can let you have a<br />

pair of cuff links to sell to my client’.<br />

I did, and Peter was lovely, he gave<br />

me the cuff links and said I could<br />

give him a replacement pair once I<br />

received them from my supplier.”<br />

Jon believes there is a vastly reduced<br />

wholesale and manufacturing<br />

industry in Australia today, the<br />

world has become ‘smaller’ as most<br />

suppliers are international.<br />

“Marketing is different. My father was<br />

very active in the mass media of the<br />

time, especially radio and television,<br />

whereas today, our clients are found<br />

online,” he explained.<br />

So, what does the future hold for the<br />

business?<br />

“The structure of retail today enables<br />

growth in sales without physically<br />

building new shops. There is a lot<br />

of productivity under-utilised in the<br />

shop structure.<br />

“I think our growth will be in the<br />

online arena, and the shop will grow<br />

sales because of being engaged<br />

online,” Jon said.<br />

Read the full length interview<br />

on <strong>Jeweller</strong>magazine.com<br />

32 | <strong>December</strong> <strong>2021</strong>

RR Diamonds<br />

Supplying Australia Since 1974<br />


Completing my Diploma in<br />

Gemmology has benefited<br />

me as a jeweller in more<br />

ways than I ever expected.<br />

I have always had an interest<br />

in gemstones and found<br />

the course was not only<br />

informative and challenging<br />

but immensely rewarding.<br />

Studying with the GAA has also<br />

allowed me to meet like-minded<br />

people from many facets of the<br />

jewellery industry and grants me access<br />

to resources that I will continue to use<br />

throughout my professional career.<br />

Emma Meakes FGAA<br />

<strong>Jeweller</strong>, John Miller Design - WA<br />

Diploma in<br />

Gemmology<br />

Enrolments now open<br />

For more information<br />

1300 436 338<br />

learn@gem.org.au<br />

www.gem.org.au<br />

Be<br />

Brilliant<br />

Gem-Ed Australia<br />


Passionately educating the industry, gem enthusiasts<br />

and consumers about gemstones

REVIEW<br />

Gems<br />

Part I: Synthetic Diamonds<br />

L to R: Anabela Chan earrings; Vrai necklace;<br />

Diamond Foundry's lab-created diamond<br />

rough before cutting Below: Kimai necklace;<br />

Lightbox Jewelry earrings<br />

Of all the great debates in the gem and<br />

jewellery industry, the ‘hottest’ topic<br />

continues to be natural versus synthetic<br />

diamonds. Varying, and sometimes,<br />

‘opposing’ information is continually<br />

published as both synthetic and natural<br />

diamond technologies continue to develop.<br />

The initial confusion: what’s in a name?<br />

It appears the industry prefers the term<br />

‘lab-grown’ or ‘lab-created’ diamonds to<br />

‘synthetic’ diamonds. Technically, ‘synthetic’<br />

is the most accurate term, although both<br />

‘laboratory-grown’ and ‘laboratory-created’,<br />

without shortening to ‘lab’, are also<br />

accepted by the CIBJO industry standard.<br />

These names all represent diamonds<br />

manufactured in a laboratory that have the<br />

same chemical composition and physical<br />

properties as natural diamond.<br />

On the other hand there are synthetic<br />

stones designed to look like diamonds but<br />

are imitants because they are not the same<br />

chemically and/or physically, such as cubic<br />

zirconia and moissanite.<br />

The first recorded synthetic diamonds<br />

were largely experimental, designed for<br />

use in advanced technological settings.<br />

In 1970, General Electric announced it had<br />

produced gem-quality colourless, blue, and<br />

yellow synthetic diamonds suitable for the<br />

jewellery industry.<br />

As technology and the understanding of<br />

diamond synthesis improved, new variations<br />

of these gems were produced including<br />

synthetic blue diamonds, supposedly<br />

‘grown from human remains’!<br />

The first method of diamond synthesis<br />

responsible for commercially available<br />

synthetic diamonds, still available today, was<br />

a High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT)<br />

synthesis. This aims to recreate natural<br />

diamond growth by subjecting carbon to<br />

extreme pressure and temperature, as the<br />

name suggests.<br />

The apparatus grows diamonds at<br />

pressures around 53,000 atmospheres<br />

(1 atmosphere is the average pressure<br />

we feel on Earth) and temperatures<br />

around 1,300–1,600°C.<br />

Generating this level of energy is expensive<br />

and requires larger equipment than the<br />

more recently introduced synthesis method<br />

of Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD). This<br />

method is very different to the geological<br />

processes that create natural diamonds.<br />

CVD diamonds are grown within a vacuum<br />

chamber from a gas containing carbon,<br />

such as methane. Exposing the gas to<br />

microwaves ionises the carbon atoms,<br />

which deposit and grow on a diamond<br />

seed crystal within the chamber. Over time,<br />

changing the gas used and the purity of the<br />

diamond seed plate has resulted in better<br />

quality CVD synthetics.<br />

CVD synthetic diamonds are usually<br />

Type IIa – a ‘purer’ type of diamond with<br />

negligible nitrogen impurities, found in<br />

only 2 per cent of natural diamonds.<br />

Although HPHT synthetic diamonds<br />

were mostly Type Ib in earlier production,<br />

introducing a new step in the growing<br />

process means Type IIa are now commonly<br />

grown for the jewellery industry.<br />

These days, portable testing equipment<br />

designed to identify and separate colourless<br />

natural diamonds from synthetic, such<br />

as the Presidium Synthetic Diamond<br />

Screener II, measure diamond’s response to<br />

Synthetic<br />

Diamond<br />

Also known as labgrown<br />

or lab-created<br />

diamonds<br />

Colour: Multiple<br />

Manufactured in: China,<br />

India, USA<br />

Mohs Hardness: 10<br />

Refractive Index: 2.42<br />

Formula: C<br />

ultraviolet light in order to suggest whether<br />

it may be Type IIa. In the screening process,<br />

any colourless diamonds that show signs<br />

of being Type IIa should be sent to a<br />

gemmological laboratory for further testing<br />

for confirmation of natural or synthetic<br />

growth.<br />

The most well-known features of synthetic<br />

diamonds include metallic inclusions<br />

in HPHTs (which can cause them to<br />

be attracted to magnets), stronger<br />

fluorescence in short-wave ultraviolet light<br />

than long-wave (the opposite of natural<br />

diamonds), phosphorescence, and strain<br />

patterns caused by the growth process and<br />

their different morphology (crystal shape),<br />

which varies between HPHT, CVD, and<br />

natural diamonds.<br />

Accurate and reliable identification can<br />

be simple by identifying growth patterns,<br />

fluorescence and phosphorescence,<br />

or it may be difficult, requiring more<br />

advanced gemmological testing, such as<br />

spectroscopic analysis.<br />

As technology continues to improve,<br />

disclosure and education become<br />

increasingly important. Next month will<br />

provide insight into the treatments that<br />

may be applied to synthetic diamonds in<br />

Synthetic Diamonds: Part II.<br />

Mikaelah Egan FGAA Dip DT<br />

began her career in the industry at<br />

Diamonds of Distinction in 2015. She now<br />

balances her role as a gemmologist at<br />

Vault Valuations in Brisbane with studying<br />

geology at the University of Queensland.<br />

Visit instagram.com/mikaelah.egan<br />

For more information on gems and<br />

gemmology ,go to www.gem.org.au<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2021</strong> | 35


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Golden Connections<br />



Consumers see the price of gold reported on a daily basis, and in recent times that price has<br />

been rising. Does this negatively impact sales of gold jewellery, or is there a counter-intuitive<br />

occurrence; gold jewellery sales increase when the gold price increases?

TASTE OF<br />

SUMMER<br />


Gold by the<br />

Numbers<br />

US$271<br />

The price of gold<br />

in 2001<br />

US$2,000<br />

The price of gold<br />

in August <strong>2021</strong>1<br />

34%<br />

The 2020 decline<br />

in gold demand<br />

for jewellery<br />

1980<br />

Gold jewellery<br />

was 15% of sales<br />

for ‘average’ store<br />

The price of gold has steadily risen since the start<br />

of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are a number of<br />

reasons for this, and the most obvious is that gold is<br />

always seen as a ‘safe haven’, or a store of value. As a physical<br />

commodity, gold cannot be printed like money, and its value<br />

is largely unaffected by government interest rate decisions.<br />

For that reason gold has historically maintained its value over time;<br />

it serves as a form of insurance against adverse economic events, of<br />

which the global pandemic is an example.<br />

If the above is accepted as a ‘truism’, then how does the price of gold<br />

affect consumer demand for gold jewellery?<br />

It’s an excellent question and one that is not easily answered on a<br />

global scale, largely because of differing ‘relationships’ some cultures<br />

have with gold. Think India!<br />

However, given the world has just experienced a significant global<br />

catastrophe, and the gold price increased during the time, it does allow<br />

us to analyse and compare what has happened over the past two years.<br />

While the pandemic significantly impacted many industries and<br />

international markets throughout 2020, gold was largely unaffected;<br />

in January it was priced at around $US1,550 per ounce, a price at<br />

which it rarely fell below. By <strong>December</strong> 2020 it had increased to<br />

more than $US1,800 per ounce.<br />

Plunge in sales<br />

On the international front, data from the World Gold Council (WGC)<br />

indicates that jewellery sales plunged: “<strong>Jeweller</strong>y demand in 2020<br />

dropped to its lowest annual level on record, decimated by the<br />

combination of the global pandemic – with its resultant market<br />

lockdowns – and record-high gold prices at a time of economic<br />

slowdown.”<br />

The January <strong>2021</strong> report explains that “total annual jewellery demand<br />

dropped to 1,411.6t, the lowest in our annual data series and 34 per<br />

cent lower year-on-year. The two largest markets, India and China,<br />

were the two major contributors to the annual decline.” (See Chart A)<br />

Understandably, the WGC collates historical annual data back to 1995.<br />

The report goes on to explain that “although jewellery demand showed<br />

continued signs of quarterly recovery from the lows reached in Q2 when<br />

market lockdowns were at their peak, it remained very weak in Q4.”<br />

However, the news was not all bad because the WGC predicted that<br />

Continued page 41<br />


Sources: ICE Benchmark Administration, Metals Focus, Refinitiv GFMS, World Gold Council;<br />

Note: Data as of 31 <strong>December</strong> 2020. <strong>Jeweller</strong>y value is calculated by multiplying the tonnage<br />

figure and the annual average LBMA Gold Price PM in US dollars<br />


PO Box 3168 Yeronga<br />

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sales@gerrim.com<br />

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2019 - <strong>2021</strong> GOLD JEWELLERY SALES<br />


The charts below compare the sales of gold jewellery for the past three years - 2019, 2020<br />

and <strong>2021</strong> (October). The data is a representative sample of more than 400 independent<br />

Australian jewellery stores collected via Retail Edge POS software during a time where the<br />

price of gold has steadily increased.<br />

CHART B: <strong>2021</strong> – UNITS SOLD AND DOLLAR VALUE<br />

4,500<br />

4,000<br />

3,500<br />

3,000<br />

2,500<br />

2,000<br />

1,500<br />

1000<br />

500<br />

0<br />



14,000<br />

12,000<br />

10,000<br />

8,000<br />

6,000<br />

4,000<br />

2,000<br />

0<br />



18ct Diamond & Precious Coloured Gemstone <strong>Jeweller</strong>y<br />


Daniel Jacuk - 0412 071 103<br />

sales@djdiamonddesigns.com.au<br />

14,000<br />

12,000<br />

10,000<br />

8,000<br />

6,000<br />

4,000<br />

2,000<br />

0<br />


TRADE ANALYSIS | Golden Connections<br />

“while jewellery demand volumes were likely to<br />

remain relatively subdued as COVID-19 continues<br />

to impede the normal functioning of many<br />

markets across the globe, mass vaccination<br />

program and signs of improving economic<br />

indicators imply that we expect to see continued,<br />

if tentative, improvement in the sector in <strong>2021</strong>.”<br />

And so it was that by July this year the WGC<br />

was reporting that “jewellery demand (390.7t)<br />

continued to rebound from 2020’s COVID-hit<br />

weakness, although remained well below<br />

typical pre-pandemic levels, partly due to<br />

weaker Indian demand growth and only a few<br />

months later its October report declared that<br />

“<strong>Jeweller</strong>y continued to draw strength from the<br />

ongoing global economic recovery: Q3 demand<br />

rebounded 33% year-on-year to 443t.”<br />

Macro versus micro<br />

This data is at a macro level and does not<br />

necessarily relate to the ‘at the coalface’<br />

experience of jewellery retailers worldwide.<br />

In other words, what might be happening in one<br />

country/market may not be replicated in other<br />

markets. Local factors impact consumer buying<br />

and trends.<br />

Mike Dyer, sales manager at Retail Edge, a<br />

specialist management consultancy firm in the<br />

retail jewellery market, details a different side<br />

or outcome from that of the WGC data.<br />

While the pandemic<br />

significantly impacted many<br />

industries and international<br />

markets throughout 2020,<br />

gold was largely unaffected;<br />

in January it was priced at<br />

around $US1,550 per ounce,<br />

a price at which it rarely fell<br />

below. By <strong>December</strong> 2020 it<br />

had increased to more than<br />

$US1,800 per ounce. "<br />

He believes “there are several factors that<br />

influence the retail selling price of gold, the<br />

best way to measure the comparative movement<br />

would be the number of items sold, and to<br />

analyse this with just gold jewellery.<br />

“Units sold figures for full calendar year 2019<br />

compared to full calendar year 2020 shows just<br />

a 6.3 per cent increase in units sold. Markups<br />

[retailer margin] achieved are almost the<br />

same which points to an increase in consumer<br />

demand rather than a resistance to price.”<br />

Of course, one explanation could be that<br />

consumers who were still buying gold jewellery<br />

during the global pandemic - and during a<br />

period of a high gold price - could have been<br />

choosing lower ‘quality’ and therefore, lowerpriced<br />

gold items.<br />

However, Dyer’s data - collected from more than<br />

400 independent Australian jewellery stores via<br />

the Retail Edge POS software - suggests that<br />

there was no shift to 9-carat designs rather than<br />

18-carat to save money: “There is no evidence<br />

in the items sold information [by Retail Edge<br />

clients] that points to a drop in 18-carat unit<br />

sales and an increase in the 9-carat unit sales.”<br />

(See Charts B, C and D left)<br />

The three-year data from January 2019 to<br />

October <strong>2021</strong> shows gold jewellery sales peaked<br />

in <strong>December</strong> 2020, just as Australian cities were<br />

re-opening after long lockdowns. It indicates<br />

that 13,300 gold jewellery units were sold<br />



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Golden Connections | TRADE ANALYSIS<br />

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nationally in that month, with Australians spending<br />

close to $4.5 million on gold jewellery in <strong>December</strong><br />

2020, which was the highest across the entire<br />

period.<br />

The second-highest month of the same period<br />

was <strong>December</strong> 2019 – 11,485 pieces sold, with<br />

$3.1 million spent on gold jewellery.<br />

Interestingly, November, May and April 2020 resulted<br />

in large gold jewellery sales; 4,914, 4,521 and 4,262<br />

units sold respectively. It should be noted that<br />

many Australian capital cities were in lockdown<br />

during these months and, despite this, Australian<br />

consumers continued to purchase gold jewellery.<br />

Further, the highest performing months in 2020<br />

outrank their respective (pre-pandemic) months in<br />

2019 - despite the gold pricing rising across 2020.<br />

During this timeframe, the gold price peaked in<br />

August 2020 at more than $US2,000 per ounce<br />

and yet Australian gold jewellery sales across the<br />

Retail Edge client stores remained high in the same<br />

period; with 3,643 gold jewellery units sold in August<br />

2020, beating August 2019’s 3,246.<br />

Turning the table<br />

Jeffrey Christian, partner CPM Group, a New York<br />

based commodities research and consulting firm<br />

has another slant on the topic: “Yes, it is correct<br />

that overall higher gold prices lead to less gold<br />

being used in jewellery. Similarly lower prices will<br />

lead to more jewellery demand. It is not just high<br />

prices but also volatile prices that reduce gold use<br />

in jewellery”.<br />

He explains that the decline in demand occurs at<br />

two levels, “<strong>Jeweller</strong>s reduce their per unit gold<br />

content in their jewellery to keep the jewellery<br />

‘affordable’ and within ‘price points’ that are<br />

attractive to consumers. Consumers react to higher<br />

gold prices partly because there is some increase<br />

"We have noticed in the past that<br />

as the gold prices have increased,<br />

platinum sales have nearly<br />

tripled, as customers looks for<br />

less expensive alternatives.”<br />

Chris Botha<br />

Operations manager<br />

Palloys<br />

“Higher gold prices lead to less<br />

gold being used in jewellery.<br />

Similarly lower prices will lead<br />

to more jewellery demand.”<br />

Jeffrey Christian<br />

Partner<br />

CPM Group<br />

“Something I have noticed is<br />

that when gold prices rise, the<br />

consumers are more interested<br />

in buying large 18-carat pieces,<br />

and we quote a lot more of these<br />

when the gold price rises."<br />

Jacinta Collins<br />

General manager<br />

Golden Mile <strong>Jeweller</strong>y<br />


TRADE ANALYSIS | Golden Connections<br />

Million Oz<br />

Gold Price Percent Change<br />


120<br />

Source: CPM Gold Yearbook <strong>2021</strong><br />

110<br />

120%<br />

110%<br />

100<br />

100%<br />

Gold <strong>Jeweller</strong>y Demand<br />

90<br />

90%<br />

80<br />

70<br />

60<br />

50<br />

40<br />

30<br />

20<br />

10<br />

0<br />

80%<br />

70%<br />

60%<br />

50%<br />

40%<br />

30%<br />

20%<br />

10%<br />

0%<br />

-10<br />

-10%<br />

Gold Price (Right Scale)<br />

-20<br />

-20%<br />

-30<br />

-30%<br />

YEAR 79 81 83 85 87 89 91 93 95 97 99 01 03 05 07 09 11 13 15 17 19<br />

Palloys<br />

in the jewellery prices and partly because of the<br />

perception that higher gold prices ‘no doubt’ are<br />

increasing jewellery prices.”<br />

Christian’s experience in the industry is long,<br />

and in fact in an open letter to mining company<br />

executives dated January 2001, he indicated that<br />

gold jewellery production has little or no effect on<br />

the price of gold: “Over the past few months CPM<br />

Group has been asked by executives at several<br />

gold mining companies that are clients of ours<br />

about the price implications of rising jewellery<br />

and/or investment demand for gold. Gold prices<br />

never will rise significantly due to growth in<br />

jewellery demand,” he wrote 20 years ago.<br />

In 2000, and when the gold price were at a low of<br />

$US271 per ounce, the head of a bullion trading<br />

company commissioned an advertising agency<br />

to create a ‘pitch’ to the gold mining industry<br />

for a consumer advertising and marketing<br />

campaign to promote gold jewellery, in a similar<br />

way that De Beers once ran generic campaigns<br />

promoting diamond jewellery to consumers.<br />

Following lengthy research, Christian advised<br />

the gold miners: “As it has been explained to<br />

us by several gold producers, the gold mining<br />

industry is being asked to spend large amounts<br />

of scarce financial resources to promote gold<br />

use in jewellery. The marketing people behind<br />

this promotional effort are said to have been<br />

producers that only by stimulating gold jewellery<br />

demand can producers ever hope to see gold<br />

prices rise.<br />

“While it is a noble and worthy effort for<br />

producers to promote gold jewellery, mining<br />

industry executives must understand that it<br />

is impossible to drive gold prices significantly<br />

higher on a sustained basis with jewellery<br />

demand.”<br />

It should be remembered that his comments<br />

are coming from the ‘other side of the fence’.<br />

That is, how gold jewellery production affects the<br />

price of gold bullion rather than how the price of<br />

gold bullion affects the pricing of gold jewellery<br />

manufacture, which then affects jewellery<br />

retailers, especially small independent stores.<br />

November, May and April<br />

2020 resulted in large<br />

gold jewellery sales; 4,914,<br />

4,521 and 4,262 units sold<br />

respectively. It should be<br />

noted that many Australian<br />

capital cities were in<br />

lockdown during these<br />

months and, despite this,<br />

Australian consumers<br />

continued to purchase gold<br />

jewellery."<br />

Christian told <strong>Jeweller</strong>: There are four broad<br />

issues that affect the volume of gold used in<br />

jewellery design and manufacture, as well as<br />

consumer demand for gold jewellery:<br />

• Gold and jewellery prices<br />

• Income levels, disposable income, senses of<br />

economic well-being<br />

• Fashion trends<br />

• Advertising<br />

“In the end the mining companies rejected the<br />

proposed consumer advertising program.”<br />

Think globally act locally<br />

One of the important lessons from the pandemic<br />

is the fragility of globalisation; supply chains and<br />

channels fell apart. Suddenly buying local became<br />

not only paramount but also the only option.<br />

James Bishop, operations manager Morris and<br />

Watson, one of Australia’s largest chain jewellery<br />

manufacturers and refiners, says, “The pandemic<br />

has impacted a number of industries over the<br />

last two years so it is difficult to narrow down a<br />

particular trend specific to the jewellery industry.<br />

While the price per gram for gold has increased<br />

this has not had a negative impact on sales.<br />

“<strong>Jeweller</strong>s appear to be very busy despite the<br />

interruptions due to the pandemic, this is<br />

possibly a result of national and international<br />

travel restrictions ensuring people spend their<br />

money locally.” He believes that COVID-19 has<br />

focused many retail businesses on local supply.<br />

“More jewellers and retailers of all sizes are<br />

also looking to purchase from local suppliers<br />

due to national and international supply chain<br />

disruptions and a customer base that is<br />

becoming more socially and environmentally<br />

focused,” Bishop says.<br />

Jacinta Collins, general manager Golden Mile<br />

<strong>Jeweller</strong>y Manufacturers, says that “definitely,<br />

when the price of gold jumps up, traditionally<br />

it always meant that retailers held off on<br />

re-ordering stock, in the hope that the price<br />

would drop down again. When the gold price<br />

didn’t drop down but instead continued to climb<br />

further, we found that retailers realised that they<br />

better hurry up and re-order.” “If retailers left it<br />

too late, then they’d find that they weren’t able<br />

to replenish their stock to the same level as the<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2021</strong> | 43

Golden Connections | TRADE ANALYSIS<br />



Van Cleef & Arpels<br />

The change in the price of gold over the past 40<br />

years has had a major influence on sales of gold<br />

jewellery, as would be expected.<br />

When I worked at Hooker Retail (Prouds, Edments<br />

and Diamond Traders) during the 1970s and early<br />

1980s, the gold price was quite steady, and a lot<br />

cheaper than today.<br />

Therefore, sales of gold jewellery were not<br />

impacted to any great degree by gold price<br />

volatility.<br />

However, the floating of the Australian dollar in<br />

1983 added an additional volatility factor – currency<br />

changes.<br />

Once gold jewellery prices started to escalate – as<br />

a result of the combination of higher gold prices<br />

and a drop in the AUD/USD rate – sales of gold<br />

jewellery were heavily impacted.<br />

Consumers would ask for an 18-carat gold<br />

chain, but when they realised the cost, would buy<br />

9-carat instead. Additionally, as prices continued to<br />

increase from 2005, consumers would often switch<br />

from gold to silver.<br />

Back in the 1970s and 1980s gold jewellery sales<br />

were about 15-20 per cent of sales for an ‘average’<br />

jewellery store, with silver jewellery only 5 per cent.<br />

For most of the past 20 years, these figures have<br />

been reversed, with silver jewellery outselling gold<br />

jewellery.<br />

Several years ago, there was a resurgence in<br />

sales of gold jewellery – our theory is that many<br />

consumers have only known gold jewellery to be<br />

at current price levels, and have not experienced<br />

significant increases since 2000.<br />

The most surprising change in gold jewellery sales<br />

occurred in 2020/21 with sales of non-stone-set<br />

gold jewellery increasing by about 100 per cent from<br />

September 2020 when compared to 2019 sales.<br />

While jewellery sales overall benefitted from the<br />

post lockdown sales surge, sales of gold and<br />

diamond jewellery were particularly strong, and<br />

I think there are two reasons for this:<br />

1. Consumers who would normally earmark<br />

money for overseas/expensive holidays spent<br />

on valuable items of jewellery<br />

2. Some consumers purchased gold jewellery<br />

on the basis that it doubles as a commodity /<br />

safe haven for their money.<br />

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TRADE ANALYSIS | Golden Connections<br />

amount they want to spend now, and it would get<br />

them a reduced amount of stock to what they<br />

had previously.”<br />

However, things have changed over the past few<br />

years, according to Collins: “We have seen much<br />

less of that [retailers not re-ordering], and we<br />

are noticing customers replenishing their stock<br />

more regularly with automated orders that keep<br />

their stock levels constantly topped up without<br />

needing to invest in a big lump sum.”<br />

Chris Botha, operations manager Palloys,<br />

says that sales of gold jewellery has remained<br />

“roughly the same, however, a notable change<br />

is a reduction in the purity of gold. Higher gold<br />

prices will often see people opt for 9-carat and<br />

14-carat jewellery over 18-carat.<br />

“It’s not a lockstep correlation, but you’ll often<br />

see jewellery sales increase in the 9-carat range<br />

rather than 18-carat as the price of fine gold<br />

increases.”<br />

Interestingly, Botha points to another side effect.<br />

There can also be an increase in demand for<br />

platinum as a result of gold volatility: “We have<br />

noticed in the past that as the gold prices have<br />

increased, platinum sales have nearly tripled, as<br />

customers looks for less expensive alternatives.”<br />

Arthur Papagrigoriou, director of Melbournebased<br />

Athan Wholesalers, specialising in 9- and<br />

18-carat pendant chains and imported Italian<br />

chains, is another who says that the gold price<br />

affects sales.<br />

“We found a correlation in the increase in the gold<br />

price and reduced gold jewellery sales during the<br />

first sudden price rises in 2006, gold increased<br />

and sales decreased, however, in recent times it<br />

[sales] seems to be more steady. And there was<br />

definitely a shift from 18-carat to 9-carat as the<br />

gold price increased as many find the price of<br />

18-carat out of reach,” Papagrigoriou explained.<br />

Bishop says that Morris and Watson’s experience<br />

has been different. “While there are always priceconscious<br />

shoppers who lean towards 9-carat<br />

gold, 18-carat gold will always remain a popular<br />

option with many jewellers and their customers.”<br />

Collins echoes Bishop’s view. “Something I<br />

have noticed is that when gold prices rise,<br />

the consumers are more interested in buying<br />

large 18-carat pieces, and we quote a lot more<br />

of these when the gold price rises. However,<br />

most consumers realise that it is much more<br />

expensive than they expected and generally end<br />

up buying 9-carat as it is the more affordable<br />

option,” she says.<br />

Industry stalwart, Ted Pevy, director <strong>Jeweller</strong>y<br />

Centre, established in 1977, is well placed to look<br />

at long-term trends.<br />

“We are seeing a move to women wearing fewer<br />

pieces, but better pieces and gold fits into that<br />

description as well. Where they had lots of little<br />

chains, now it’s one bigger, better chain. As<br />

far as the gold price is concerned, it actually<br />

increases the desirability of gold jewellery.”<br />

Pevy also says that while 9-carat gold pieces<br />

are the more popular item, “18-carat gold<br />

jewellery sales certainly have increased and our<br />

experience is we are selling more 18-carat than<br />

we have for quite a long time.”<br />

Bishop adds that there has been “a renewed<br />

interest in 14-carat gold in the last couple of<br />

years, offering a third option for people conscious<br />

of both metal value and price. This can be helpful<br />

for anyone that is unable to decide between<br />

9-carat and 18-carat gold.”<br />

What can we make of all of this? Well, one thing<br />

is clear, there is no definitive answer as to if,<br />

and how, the price of gold affects sales of gold<br />

jewellery, other than to say a trend in one market<br />

may not be relevant to other markets. There is<br />

no simple answer in a topsy-turvy world; and in a<br />

world that has seen many ups and downs in the<br />

past two years, it would be a bold person to claim<br />

they have the answers.<br />

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The Synthetic Future<br />

Lab-created diamond jewellery market :<br />


DOUBLE IN SIZE BY 2025<br />

Image: Diamond Foundry<br />

The future for lab-created diamonds will not be the great disruptor many predicted. The potential may rest<br />

in fashion jewellery and in high-tech applications rather than quality luxury pieces, says PAUL ZIMNISKY.<br />

T<br />

he Diamond Foundry plans to build a<br />

new plant that will reportedly produce<br />

10 million carats per annum to cater for<br />

the industrial tech market.<br />

Along with the world’s largest fashion jewellery brand<br />

Pandora – which is currently testing a line of ‘affordable’<br />

lab-diamond jewellery - the man-made diamond market<br />

appears to be stratifying into a more nuanced industry away<br />

from one that was, just a few years ago, primarily focused on<br />

‘disrupting’ the natural diamond jewellery market.<br />

In the five or so years since larger, higher-quality labdiamond<br />

jewellery began hitting the wider market (at first<br />

in the US), production technologies have vastly improved,<br />

the number of suppliers has greatly increased and many<br />

retailers have begun to trial, and in some cases fullyadopt,<br />

the novel product.<br />

This has resulted in suppliers segmenting into more<br />

specific business strategy aims such as lowest-cost<br />

diamond jewellery, carbon-neutral branded diamonds or<br />

non-jewellery super-material applications.<br />

Estimated lab-diamond production for use in jewellery<br />

has grown from just a few hundred thousand polished<br />

carats per annum as recently as four or five years ago,<br />

to almost 3 million polished carats in <strong>2021</strong> worth almost<br />

US$2 billion, based on the polished diamond value at retail<br />

(‘loose diamond equivalent’ or excluding jewellery cost).<br />

This figure represents an estimated mid-to-high singledigit<br />

percentage of the total global polished diamond<br />


Big Picture<br />

3 million<br />

Number of<br />

polished carats<br />

in <strong>2021</strong><br />

75%<br />

Price difference<br />

between labcreated<br />

and natural<br />

diamonds<br />

10 million<br />

Forecast annual<br />

production of new<br />

Diamond Foundry<br />

plant<br />

US$1 billion<br />

IPO valuation of<br />

Brilliant Earth<br />

market (See tables right).<br />

As the lab-made industry expands, man-made diamond<br />

manufacturers are taking different approaches to<br />

production and product positioning.<br />

In recent years, US and Israeli tech start-ups such as<br />

WD Diamonds and Lusix, have seemingly focused on<br />

lower-emission, more sustainable production methods<br />

to differentiate their jewellery product.<br />

On the other hand, Diamond Foundry has publicly<br />

expressed a longer-term aim at targeting single-crystal<br />

diamond wafer production for use in semiconductors, an<br />

industry many times larger than the jewellery industry.<br />

Other companies are seemingly targeting lowest-cost<br />

diamond jewellery production.<br />

The number of lab-made manufacturers in India is<br />

estimated to have increased rapidly driven by relative<br />

cost benefits in the country as companies there benefited<br />

from subsidised energy (the greatest variable cost for<br />

man-made diamond manufacturers) and domestic access<br />

to the industry’s largest manufacturing hub.<br />

In China, some legacy, high-capacity high-pressure-hightemperature<br />

(HPHT) producers continue to upgrade their<br />

production technologies allowing for larger, higher-quality<br />

gem production – allowing them to compete with more modern<br />

chemical vapour deposition production (CVD) methods.<br />

On the downstream end of the lab-created diamond<br />

jewellery market, it seems that many consumers who<br />

choose a lab-diamond rather than a natural diamond<br />

46 | <strong>December</strong> <strong>2021</strong>






CHARTS AND ANALYSIS BY PAUL ZIMNISKY © <strong>2021</strong><br />


Inset: Diamond Foundry<br />

Right: Anabela Chan<br />

are doing so because of the notable price<br />

differential.<br />

Based on a survey of prices, a consumer can<br />

buy a better-than-average-quality 2.15-carat<br />

lab-diamond solitaire for the price of an<br />

equivalent 1.00-carat natural stone.<br />

In general, the price differential between<br />

generic lab-diamonds and natural diamonds<br />

has steadily widened in recent years – in<br />

some cases expanding from a 10–15 per cent<br />

differential just a few years ago to as much as<br />

75 per cent or more at present.<br />

Consequently, the widening<br />

wholesale price differential<br />

between lab-created and<br />

natural could influence the<br />

way that down-stream retailer<br />

brands and jewellers market<br />

the products."<br />

That is, the differential being the ‘discount’ of<br />

a lab-diamond relative to a natural diamond of<br />

similar size and quality (See chart on page 47).<br />

This price variance is likely, at least in part,<br />

due to the production fundamentals of the two<br />

products: lab-diamonds are manufactured<br />

product, whereas natural diamonds are a nonrenewable<br />

resource of varying quality and size.<br />

Consequently, the widening wholesale price<br />

differential between lab-created and natural<br />

could influence the way that down-stream retailer<br />

brands and jewellers market the products.<br />

While it is likely that some lab-diamond<br />

companies will successfully apply branding<br />

leverage and other strategies allowing their<br />

product to garner a premium to most (especially<br />

generic) lab-diamonds, longer-term it is<br />

forecasted that an increasing amount of labdiamond<br />

jewellery will be marketed towards<br />

fashion jewellery consumers.<br />

The (Red) Diamond Ring, created by<br />

Diamond Foundry x Jony Ive & Marc Newson,<br />

sold at Sotheby's for US$256,250 in 2018<br />

In other words, lab-diamonds will be used in<br />

lower-priced jewellery competing less with<br />

higher-priced natural diamond jewellery.<br />

For example, Pandora’s new lab-diamond<br />

collection, marketed as Pandora Brilliance,<br />

is being positioned to ‘democratise’ diamonds,<br />

according to the company.<br />

The collection starts at a US$350 price point<br />

and includes pendants, earrings, bracelets<br />

and rings – although the rings are not directly<br />

being marketed as engagement rings.<br />

This price variance is likely,<br />

at least in part, due to the<br />

production fundamentals<br />

of the two products:<br />

lab-diamonds are<br />

manufactured product,<br />

whereas natural diamonds<br />

are a non-renewable resource<br />

of varying quality and size."<br />

Swarovski, another iconic global fashion<br />

jewellery brand, recently launched a fancycoloured<br />

lab-diamond collection available in an<br />

array of vibrant proprietary colours - colours that<br />

are not typically available in natural diamonds.<br />

The collection doesn’t appear to be positioned<br />

as a bridal product either. Other retailers'<br />

strategies appear less clear.<br />

Mid-market US department store majors,<br />

Macy’s and JCPenney, which have historically<br />

sold an array of other man-made gems, began<br />

offering lab-diamond jewellery in 2018.<br />

The following year, Signet Jewelers, the<br />

largest mid-tier jewellery conglomerate in<br />

48 | <strong>December</strong> <strong>2021</strong>

FORECAST REPORT | The Synthetic Future<br />

the US, began selling a limited amount of labdiamonds.<br />

All three companies are offering lab-diamond<br />

bridal/engagement options as well as more<br />

fashion-positioned merchandise.<br />

Tiffany & Co., the largest fine jeweller in the<br />

world, as well as high-jewellers such as Cartier<br />

and Bulgari, do not directly offer lab-diamonds,<br />

nor do the larger, jewellery chain stores in China,<br />

the diamond industry’s second largest, and fasted<br />

growing, market.<br />

Blue Nile, which is estimated to be the world’s<br />

largest online retailer of diamonds, began offering<br />

De Beers’ Lightbox lab-diamonds late last year.<br />

The collection is exclusively sold as non-bridal<br />

jewellery and is priced using a linear method of<br />

US$800 per carat (up to 2-carat solitaire in size).<br />

However, Blue Nile’s fast-growing competitor,<br />

Brilliant Earth, which recently went public at a<br />

valuation exceeding US$1 billion, is speculated to be<br />

one of the largest sellers of lab-diamonds globally –<br />

as fine and fashion jewellery.<br />

Looking longer-term, innovative and emerging<br />

industrial diamond applications is forecasted<br />

to drive the man-made diamond industry’s<br />

Moi Moi Fine <strong>Jeweller</strong>y<br />


In Summary<br />

New direction<br />

As the lab-made industry<br />

expands, man-made diamond<br />

manufacturers are taking<br />

different approaches to<br />

product positioning<br />

A testing time<br />

Many retailers have begun to<br />

trial, and in some cases fullyadopt<br />

lab-created diamonds<br />

Emotion still rules<br />

The consumer’s rational for<br />

diamond jewellery is still<br />

influenced by emotion or an<br />

affinity for rarity.<br />

greatest growth, whether it be in advanced thermal<br />

management devises, medical equipment, energy<br />

storage or semiconductors - which alone is<br />

estimated to be almost a half-trillion-dollar industry,<br />

noting that the demand for diamond substrate<br />

specifically would theoretically only be a fraction<br />

of the total market size.<br />

The market size of these applications far exceeds<br />

that of jewellery, and the end-user is much more<br />

likely to be indiscriminate about whether the<br />

diamond is manufactured or natural.<br />

With industrial applications for diamond, the<br />

lower-price option will theoretically win out as<br />

long as performance is comparable.<br />

With diamond jewellery, as is the case with luxury more<br />

generally, the consumer rational for purchase is not<br />

nearly as practical and is often influenced by more<br />

intuitive factors such as emotion or an affinity for rarity.<br />

PAUL ZIMNISKY CFA, is a leading global diamond<br />

industry analyst based in New York. He specialises<br />

in international diamond supply and demand<br />

fundamentals, and the companies operating within<br />

the industry. Visit: paulzimnisky.com<br />

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Strategy<br />

Reduce customer churn:<br />

5 ways to understand at-risk customers<br />

Oddly enough, customers who are close to ‘leaving’ your business can be very valuable,<br />

but only if you know how to recognise them. JEANNIE WALTERS reports.<br />

Nobody thinks they’re neglecting<br />

customers, nevertheless many do. Some<br />

of us live, breathe and constantly think<br />

about the customer experience. But most<br />

businesspeople, believe it or not, don’t<br />

spend their time that way.<br />

Unfortunately, business leaders have not<br />

been trained, educated, or even asked to<br />

consider customer experience. Traditional<br />

business education, and even standard<br />

business plans, don’t focus on the<br />

customer’s total interaction or ‘journey’<br />

beyond the basics of getting the sale and<br />

delivering a product or service.<br />

Think of a customer journey as a detailed<br />

map that shows the full experience a person<br />

has when dealing with your business.<br />

Many customer journey maps can neglect<br />

key phases of the customer experience.<br />

They are sometimes focused on the ideal<br />

scenarios where issues don’t happen:<br />

All customers are happy, all products are<br />

delivered on time, and there’s no need for<br />

customer service to resolve complaints.<br />

One of the questions I love to ask business<br />

owners and managers who are exploring<br />

customer experience is how much they<br />

know about their ‘at-risk’ customers.<br />

For example, do you know who your atrisk<br />

customers are, where they are in the<br />

journey, and to where they might drift? The<br />

answer I tend to get from people who aren’t<br />

succeeding at customer experience is a<br />

blank stare and maybe a shrug.<br />

The relationship between a brand or retail<br />

store and its customers is like any other<br />

relationship. There is often a love story in<br />

the beginning, and then throughout the<br />

relationship, the love and even loyalty can<br />

wane and drift. That’s human nature.<br />

Neglect is an emotion that is more powerful<br />

at driving human behavior than we think.<br />

A research study published by the<br />

International Journal of Applied Business<br />

and Economic Research identified four<br />

antecedents to customer loyalty. They were<br />

defined as satisfaction, commitment, trust<br />

and image. All of these factors require<br />

attention and intention. Neglect is the<br />

antithesis to each.<br />

And yet business leaders are often asked to<br />

focus on customers-yet-to-be, those they<br />

don’t have; all too often heavy emphasis<br />

(along with financial incentives) is placed on<br />

acquiring new customers. Once customers<br />

become great customers, there might be an<br />

emphasis on customer advocacy programs<br />

or customer loyalty initiatives.<br />

Those are important parts of the customer<br />

journey, but the overlooked opportunities<br />

may lie in the customers who are drifting<br />

away from the brand due to neglect. They<br />

don’t get attention and they usually don’t<br />

make a fuss. They just leave.<br />

Leaders need to challenge their staff to<br />

consider those quiet, but almost-gone,<br />

customers. They are the ‘at-risk’ customers.<br />

Most<br />

businesses<br />

used to lump<br />

customers into<br />

two simple<br />

categories:<br />

New customers<br />

and ‘the rest of<br />

them’.<br />

Most businesses used to lump customers<br />

into two simple categories: New customers<br />

and ‘the rest of them’. New customer<br />

acquisition is often used to gauge success –<br />

the more we gain, the better we’re doing!<br />

And what about ‘the rest of them’? They’re<br />

all getting automatically e-charged and<br />

they seem happy because they’re not<br />

complaining. This is how we get lulled into<br />

thinking everything is working well.<br />

But meanwhile, we have at-risk customers<br />

who are ready and willing to defect to<br />

competitors when the right opportunity<br />

presents itself.<br />

Who are your at-risk customers?<br />

Before you can develop a strategy around<br />

at-risk customers, you first need to identify<br />

them. These are customers who are not<br />

happy or just have a ‘meh’ attitude about<br />

what your brand does for them. Not since<br />

they were shiny new customers have they<br />

felt cared for.<br />

At-risk customers don’t have a strong<br />

opinion about what you think are the best<br />

features of your product or service. They<br />

may have had one bad experience with your<br />

staff and decided that was enough to open<br />

the door to consider switching. Or maybe<br />

they have been trying to share feedback, but<br />

don’t feel heard.<br />

If you don’t know who this group is, here are<br />

a few ways to identify these customers:<br />

• Evaluate sales data and investigate the<br />

50 | <strong>December</strong> <strong>2021</strong>

Business Strategy<br />

customer journey for those who didn’t<br />

buy. Did they seek support at similar<br />

times or stop engaging with the store or<br />

staff?<br />

• Review milestones along the customer<br />

journey. Is a customer more likely to drift<br />

away after one year, two years, or after<br />

a significant change in their life or in the<br />

way they interact with the store?<br />

• Turn complaints into opportunities to<br />

listen for what the customers who don’t<br />

complain may want to say. It’s often<br />

thought that one loud complainer may<br />

be speaking up on behalf of many, many<br />

others.<br />

Now that you have identified your at-risk<br />

customers, it’s time to take action to not<br />

only stop them from leaving but also keep<br />

them truly engaged with your brand.<br />

Understanding at-risk customers<br />

You may not be able to stop all of your atrisk<br />

customers from leaving you, but you<br />

can learn a lot about how to avoid putting<br />

future customer relationships at risk!<br />

1. Identify what happens when a<br />

customer defects: Every company has<br />

some hard-to-forget stories about those<br />

customers who left for your competitors.<br />

Have a place to capture those stories.<br />

Share them as part of your customer<br />

experience updates. Don’t shy away from<br />

those painful discussions. Embrace them!<br />

Find out if there are common themes<br />

among those who left. Determine if there<br />

is a moment in your business relationship<br />

when they are most likely to leave. Those<br />

moments are sometimes more tied to the<br />

customer’s life events like moving, buying<br />

a house, or needing different options.<br />

Customer interviews can be helpful here<br />

in discovering those moments.<br />

Look for trend lines with product<br />

renewals versus cancels or those who<br />

leave after X number of months or years.<br />

This type of data will offer some insight<br />

into where to prioritise efforts to keep<br />

those customers from drifting away!<br />

2. Set up alerts to get more details: If one<br />

of the identifiers is a customer who has<br />

only bought on a single occasion, then<br />

dealing with that is imperative.<br />

Set up triggers at intervals throughout<br />

during or after the purchase process to<br />

ascertain if that customer needs support.<br />

Ask for input – don’t just offer training<br />

or webinars that are solely productcentered.<br />

Ask for what might be missing.<br />

Those post-event surveys can also be a<br />

great place to look for what customers<br />

are missing. Are they asking for followup<br />

communication or training and not<br />

getting it? Time to set up more processes<br />

to close the loop with those customers.<br />

3. Know the ideal customer journey:<br />

Know it, understand it, and watch for<br />

ways to support it.<br />

Your best customers probably use your<br />

store more often than those who will<br />

leave. If you know what the ideal journey<br />

looks like through customer journey<br />

mapping, then it will stand out when your<br />

customers veer away from the ideal and<br />

lapse into not relying on your brand.<br />

Product usage is a great indicator of<br />

customer engagement. But some<br />

products, like a savings account at a bank,<br />

don’t require active usage. Get proactive<br />

about how to engage with customers who<br />

might receive statements or invoices but<br />

little else.<br />

That bank savings account customer<br />

might be interested in financial education,<br />

or not. Others might be motivated<br />

by gamification. Engagement varies<br />

based on the industry and relationship<br />

– especially for jewellery retailers - but<br />

neglect still feels like neglect. A little<br />

attention and intention in the customer<br />

journey can go a long way.<br />

4. Don’t be afraid of the exit interview:<br />

‘You win some, you lose some’, seems to<br />

be how many organisations avoid thinking<br />

about at-risk customers. “We’re not for<br />

everyone,” some businesses will say.<br />

The best retailers never shrug this<br />

off as insignificant. Seek feedback<br />

when a customer leaves. Ask the hard<br />

questions about why they left and who<br />

ended up serving their needs. Use that<br />

information to inform your roadmap for<br />

improvements.<br />



All Ears<br />

Listen for what<br />

the customers<br />

who don’t<br />

complain may<br />

want to say<br />

Exit<br />

Don’t be afraid<br />

of the ‘exit<br />

interview’<br />

when you lose a<br />

customer<br />

Don't fight<br />

Make sure you<br />

treat former<br />

customers like<br />

friends, not<br />

enemies<br />

5. Treat former customers like friends,<br />

not enemies: Without a plan for atrisk<br />

customers, stores lump former<br />

customers back into the 'prospect'<br />

category. This means those who<br />

had relationships started receiving<br />

communications as if they didn’t.<br />

Even after years of loyalty, the customer who<br />

leaves might receive an email offering new<br />

customers a special promotion, sign-up<br />

deal, or an email explaining why the service<br />

is so great, which the customer obviously<br />

thinks differently about now that they’ve left.<br />

It can be offensive to a loyal customer who<br />

suddenly is treated like a stranger. We have<br />

to do better than sending promotions and<br />

offers to them as if they have no idea what<br />

it’s like to be a customer.<br />

Address these customers as who they are.<br />

They know your store or brand, they were a<br />

customer, and now it’s time to stay in touch.<br />

Staying in touch doesn’t mean just sending<br />

promotional or sales offers. It can mean<br />

closing the loop with them even after they’ve<br />

left the organization.<br />

One technology provider sent an email to<br />

former customers who had requested a<br />

certain feature once the feature was rolled<br />

out. Instead of an offer, it was a letter from<br />

one of the product designers thanking them<br />

for the input and sharing their success<br />

with the former customer directly. That<br />

led to a lot of personal replies and former<br />

customers coming back to a brand that no<br />

longer was neglecting them.<br />

This may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t<br />

have to be done at once. I challenge you<br />

to pick one of these five methods to try<br />

implementing first. Then add more as you<br />

can over time.<br />

At-risk customers are still customers, for<br />

now. Instead of hoping, they don’t leave,<br />

why not learn from them instead? What you<br />

learn can help them - and future customers<br />

like them - stick around instead of drifting.<br />

JEANNIE WALTERS is founder and<br />

CEO of Experience Investigators. Learn<br />

more: experienceinvestigators.com<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2021</strong> | 51


Selling<br />

How to run a successful sales training session<br />

<strong>Jeweller</strong>s know they have to invest in stock, shop fit-outs, advertising and promotion however,<br />

DAVID BROWN says investing in staff training is often overlooked.<br />

Staff sales training has almost become<br />

a cliché in business. Everyone knows<br />

they should do it but finding the time, or<br />

knowing how, can be part of the problem.<br />

3. Rotate the leader of the sessions,<br />

enabling staff to take ownership of<br />

researching about the product or<br />

service.<br />

Further, 50 per cent of sales managers<br />

say they can’t put the effort into it that they<br />

know it deserves.<br />

4. Role-play at the end of the<br />

presentation so staff can show their<br />

understanding of your expectation.<br />

Sadly sales skills can wear off over time,<br />

like an exercise class or a good shower!<br />

Research shows that 84 per cent of all<br />

training is forgotten or lost after 90 days.<br />

Given the investment in time and energy<br />

this may make it seem pointless, but<br />

further analysis has shown that every<br />

dollar invested into sales training can yield<br />

up to $29 in results, and staff can improve<br />

their performance by up to 20 per cent with<br />

the benefits of sales training.<br />

Few other areas of a business can offer<br />

this sort of return. If you’re serious about<br />

increasing the success of your store you<br />

need to be serious about sales training.<br />

So how does sales training make a<br />

difference to results?<br />

• A higher percentage of salespeople<br />

will achieve budget. A well-trained sales<br />

force is more likely to achieve their<br />

budgets than those who aren’t.<br />

Research company CSO Insights<br />

discovered that budgets were 8 per<br />

cent more likely to be achieved by<br />

salespeople in an organisation where<br />

effective sales training was in place.<br />

• It helps with improving conversion<br />

rates.<br />

Companies that conducted training<br />

programs that were deemed effective<br />

were also inclined to increase their<br />

sales conversion rate by 30 per cent<br />

compared to those companies where<br />

staff believed sales training failed to<br />

meet expectations.<br />

• It helps meet customers needs and<br />

expectations. Salespeople who have<br />

been adequately trained are much more<br />

likely to meet customer’s expectations<br />

and to make suggestions that more<br />

Encourage interaction of staff about the topic.<br />

suitably meets the customer’s needs<br />

than those without good sales training.<br />

This obviously converts into better sales<br />

results.<br />

• And one of the best outcomes is that it<br />

creates lower staff turnover rates.<br />

Research has shown that companies<br />

with strong sales training have greater<br />

customer retention, in some cases almost<br />

double that achieved by companies who<br />

do little in the way of training, or whose<br />

training is considered inadequate.<br />

So how do you make sure your sales<br />

training is effective? Here are seven steps<br />

that can help you get better results from<br />

an effective training program.<br />

1. What is your objective with the<br />

training session? It could be to know<br />

the ‘story’ of a new product line, to<br />

understand the benefits of 18ct, different<br />

settings, etc.<br />

Whatever the purpose, ideally by the<br />

end of your training session, all of the<br />

staff attending will be able to achieve the<br />

objective you have set.<br />

2. Encourage interaction of staff about<br />

the topic but don’t let them take the<br />

session in another direction.<br />

If a staff member interrupts with a topic<br />

not relevant to the training, let them<br />

know you will chat to them about this<br />

after the session.<br />

Retailers that<br />

also invest<br />

in good sales<br />

coaching<br />

training<br />

programs for<br />

their trainers<br />

will also see a<br />

much stronger<br />

sales increase<br />

with budget<br />

attainment.<br />

5. Add a questionnaire at different times<br />

to reward staff that are listening and<br />

remembering the content.<br />

6. Go back to your objective to check you<br />

achieved your sales training goal.<br />

7. Ask for feedback from your team to<br />

ensure you are adding value to their<br />

performance and productivity.<br />

Training staff may seem like the first step<br />

in the process but often having an effective<br />

sales training policy can begin with<br />

‘training the trainer’.<br />

Retailers that also invest in good sales<br />

coaching training programs for their<br />

trainers will also see a much stronger<br />

correlation between their training<br />

efforts and sales increases with budget<br />

attainment.<br />

Staff training is a business investment<br />

every bit as significant as stock and plant.<br />

Neglecting this area is a false economy<br />

that will restrict your business<br />

performance now and into the future. In<br />

the same way that giving up on the gym will<br />

ultimately lead to poor health and other<br />

complications, giving up on sales training<br />

will lead your business towards illness and<br />

less healthy profitability.<br />

Make a decision that you are willing<br />

to commit a portion of your time and<br />

expenditure to this important area of your<br />

business and enjoy the rewards that it can<br />

bring you.<br />

DAVID BROWN is co-founder<br />

and business mentor with Retail<br />

Edge Consultants. Learn more:<br />

retailedgeconsultants.com<br />

52 | <strong>December</strong> <strong>2021</strong>


Management<br />

The global pandemic: What buyers discovered<br />

Selling and buying are easy, right? It’s gone on for millennia, but have we<br />

just witnessed the greatest change ever? DAVID BROCK thinks so!<br />

The global COVID-19 pandemic has forced<br />

businesspeople to rethink our work and<br />

how we interact with our customers.<br />

We’ve seen customers reduce spending.<br />

One of the largest adjustments we have<br />

had to make is so-called, ’virtual selling’.<br />

With the inability to travel or actually meet<br />

face-to-face, we had to find a new method<br />

for engaging our customers.<br />

There have been some interesting results<br />

from this. We’ve learned that reducing<br />

travel frees us to spend more time actually<br />

‘meeting’ with customers. We can be<br />

more efficient, if not more productive. This<br />

creates both opportunities and threats.<br />

As leaders, we’ve seen challenges our staff<br />

face in feeling connected and engaged.<br />

Since they aren’t coming into the office,<br />

much of the informal communication that<br />

is fundamental to how organisations work<br />

wasn’t happening. Therefore, we had to<br />

invent new ways to keep staff connected<br />

and engaged, whether more frequent<br />

check-ins or one-on-ones, virtual cocktail<br />

parties, or other things.<br />

Many of these adjustments to the<br />

workplace were probably inevitable but<br />

accelerated because of the pandemic.<br />

Some have been created just to survive.<br />

We will eventually revert to some of the<br />

things we did before COVID, abandoning<br />

some of things that we were ‘forced’ upon<br />

us. We will most likely continue some of<br />

the new practices and behaviours – there’s<br />

a lot of talk about the power combo of<br />

face-to-face and virtual because some<br />

organisations have discovered profound<br />

things that re-shaped how they sell.<br />

The pandemic and the slow emergence<br />

from its restrictions have, perhaps, created<br />

discussions around the future of selling.<br />

There is increased attention to what we<br />

might do differently, how we sell differently,<br />

perhaps even more effectively.<br />

But I’ve had a very uncomfortable feeling in<br />

all these discussions.<br />

For example, where’s the customer, other<br />

than being the recipient of these new<br />

The future of sales should be driven by the buyer, not the seller.<br />

practices we are inflicting on them? What<br />

has the customer learned and how did the<br />

pandemic force them to change?<br />

You see, what is often forgotten is that<br />

customers were also forced to make<br />

changes to their lives during, no different<br />

to how many of their markets changed,<br />

which in turn faced severe shifts in<br />

demand, supply chain problems, and<br />

challenges to their own ability to work<br />

effectively.<br />

New problems arose - some unique to<br />

the pandemic and some that had always<br />

existed but became more prominent and<br />

observable.<br />

Just as businesses had to create new ways<br />

of selling and interacting with customers,<br />

the customer had to figure out new ways<br />

of buying. Many sellers might respond,<br />

“Isn’t that just the mirror image of what<br />

we are doing?” and that might lead one to<br />

conclude, “The future of buying is virtual!”<br />

I suspect that’s because much of the<br />

selling paradigm is built around the<br />

‘meeting’. We have always thought in terms<br />

of a seller interacting directly with a buyer.<br />

Whether it’s face-to-face, phone, social<br />

platforms, or virtual; our paradigm has<br />

always been around in-person meetings.<br />

However, buyers are solving their<br />

challenges differently from how sellers<br />

want to solve the same issue. The<br />

‘meeting’ is not the cornerstone to how<br />

The pandemic<br />

and the slow<br />

emergence from<br />

its restrictions<br />

have, perhaps,<br />

created<br />

discussions<br />

around the<br />

future of selling.<br />

they solve their buying problem, instead;<br />

they learn through other sources – online<br />

and offline, through colleagues and others.<br />

In other words, the ‘meeting’ may no<br />

longer be core to their learning/buying<br />

process.<br />

Sellers and marketers have been<br />

fascinated with the application and<br />

misapplication of technology to engage<br />

prospects and customers, however; the<br />

application of technology isn’t the exclusive<br />

discovery of sellers and marketers. Buyers<br />

are learning how to apply technology, AI/<br />

ML to help them search, filter, and more<br />

effectively learn.<br />

The interesting thing is that buying hasn’t<br />

become easier; in fact, there is a lot of<br />

research that indicates buying has become<br />

more difficult.<br />

It’s never been easy to navigate a complex<br />

buying journey. Customers often don’t<br />

know how to buy; they struggle with<br />

aligning the ever-increasing ‘buying team’<br />

among many things.<br />

And it’s getting even more difficult for<br />

consumers! Their tools and the new digital<br />

buying journey add greater complexity.<br />

Whereas in the past, they may have<br />

struggled with getting the information<br />

they needed, now they struggle with the<br />

abundance of high-quality information.<br />

Consumers struggle with determining<br />

what’s most relevant to their situation.<br />

So while buying has changed profoundly<br />

throughout the pandemic, the strange<br />

disconnect is that we don’t hear buyers<br />

talking about virtual meetings as their big<br />

change, while that’s been the big change<br />

in selling.<br />

Somehow it seems the gap between how<br />

buyers buy and how we sell is increasing,<br />

not decreasing.<br />

DAVID BROCK is CEO of Partners<br />

In Excellence, a global consultancy<br />

focused on helping organisations<br />

engage customers more effectively. He<br />

writes at: partnersinexcellenceblog.com<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2021</strong> | 53


Marketing & PR<br />

The dirty little secret your data isn’t telling you<br />

Market research and data can tell us a great deal. However, TOM MARTIN believes one<br />

of the most important things is the ‘why’; and that’s something best left to humans.<br />

Steve Jobs once said, “People don’t know<br />

what they want until you show it to them.<br />

Our task is to read things that are not yet<br />

on the page.” God, I love that quote!<br />

It should be hung in the office of every<br />

product designer, software engineer<br />

and marketing executive in the world.<br />

We’d have many more cool products that<br />

we never knew we needed but can’t live<br />

without because of people like Steve Jobs.<br />

And that’s the power of intuition, empathy,<br />

insight … you know, the soft skills that<br />

truly separate great marketing strategists,<br />

product designers and business people<br />

from the rest of the pack.<br />

So why don’t they all have the skill? I’m<br />

sure there are many opinions on the<br />

subject but for me, I think the answer<br />

is simple: Fear!<br />

Fear kills great ideas<br />

Like it or not, there are people in the world<br />

such as Steve Jobs or that other famous<br />

advertising ‘shaman’ Don Draper, the<br />

fictional character from the tv series,<br />

Mad Men. These people have an uncanny<br />

ability to see inside the hearts and minds<br />

of the customers they serve.<br />

They don’t need proof or data… they have<br />

a sixth sense and the willingness to be<br />

wrong; remember the Apple Newton?<br />

Everyone else fears failure, but true<br />

entrepreneurs need to predict the future,<br />

develop new products and services, or<br />

advertising campaigns. So what do they<br />

do? They trust the data.<br />

They look at all kinds of data from social<br />

media engagement data, website traffic<br />

data, research data, etc. It’s data, data,<br />

data; they believe that if they just consume<br />

or study enough data the brilliant insight,<br />

the game-changing idea, the next big thing<br />

will appear like when John Nash cracks<br />

the code in the movie A Brilliant Mind.<br />

However, the fact is that data, if tortured<br />

long enough data can be made to ‘prove’<br />

almost anything. Trust me; I’ve tortured<br />

and watched others torture enough data to<br />

Pst...Everyone fears failure, but true entrepreneurs predict the future.<br />

know the truth of which I type.<br />

But there is another big blind spot within<br />

your data that far too many a marketing<br />

strategist misses: Data only tells you<br />

what happened.<br />

The data wonks will have you believe that<br />

data tells you the entire story, however;<br />

it’s historical. Fortunately for fans of<br />

stories, these people are so busy with their<br />

spreadsheets that they don’t have time to<br />

create literary works for our consumption<br />

because their stories would stink.<br />

Great stories answer five key questions in<br />

the mind of the reader: Who, what, where,<br />

when, and why.<br />

And therein lies the problem. Data only<br />

answers the first four questions.<br />

Your data will tell you what someone did,<br />

clicked on, bought, etc., but it won’t tell<br />

you why.<br />

Why, at least in marketing, is almost<br />

always the exclusive domain of the<br />

marketing strategist. At best, data can<br />

show you patterns, but at the end of the<br />

day, you’ll need a talented marketing<br />

strategist to figure out the ‘why’ behind<br />

the ‘what’.<br />

You need to predict a why because it<br />

doesn’t yet exist… at least not in the data.<br />

It’s true that data+insight=brilliant<br />

marketing, but buyer beware!<br />

The Mac wasn’t<br />

the first desktop<br />

computer. The<br />

iPod wasn’t<br />

the first digital<br />

media player.<br />

The iPhone<br />

wasn’t the first<br />

smartphone.<br />

Heck, Jobs<br />

rarely, if ever,<br />

was first to any<br />

category.<br />

Where are today’s great marketing<br />

strategists such as Steve Jobs? They<br />

are few and far between.<br />

Precious few people in the world of<br />

marketing are fluent in research and<br />

data analysis, digital marketing, and<br />

traditional marketing and also have the<br />

ability to craft a Vulcan Mind Meld with<br />

your prospective customer.<br />

So if you want to truly exploit the power<br />

of data, then go find a modern-day Jobs<br />

and the fictional Draper. Give them a test<br />

drive or two because even a blind squirrel<br />

can find a nut once.<br />

Probe to see how intuitive they are, just<br />

because they have a PhD in Applied<br />

Mathematics does not mean they<br />

can identify and empathise with your<br />

target audience. They’ll give you lots of<br />

information but precious little insight.<br />

And brilliant insight, that’s where the<br />

margin lies. The Mac wasn’t the first<br />

desktop computer. The iPod wasn’t the<br />

first digital media player. The iPhone<br />

wasn’t the first smartphone. Heck, Jobs<br />

rarely, if ever, was first to any category.<br />

Instead, he watched the data but more<br />

importantly, he watched the consumer.<br />

He saw what was there, and he intuited<br />

what wasn’t there. And that was often the<br />

need the consumer didn’t even know they<br />

had until Jobs and Apple filled it.<br />

The list goes on; think Tesla with super<br />

smart, stylish, and powerful electric cars<br />

or Fireball with its Cinnamon Whisky.<br />

Or what about Sonos with great-sounding,<br />

wireless speakers that can replace or<br />

even eliminate the need for built-in wholehome<br />

music systems or more recently<br />

Peloton with high-energy, cost-efficient,<br />

fun at-home workouts.<br />

TOM MARTIN is the founder of<br />

Converse Digital, a sales and marketing<br />

agency. He is also a keynote speaker<br />

and author of The Invisible Sale.<br />

Visit: conversedigital.com<br />

54 | <strong>December</strong> <strong>2021</strong>


Logged On<br />

The truth about social media algorithms<br />

Is social media working for your business? Could it be better?<br />

SIMON DELL goes back to basics to help you improve your online strategy.<br />

Many of us have heard the term ‘social<br />

media algorithms', and depending on how<br />

much time you spend on social media,<br />

you’ve probably noticed changes in your<br />

news feed.<br />

Many may have even seen Adam Mosseri-<br />

Instagram CEO – announce the changes<br />

to the Instagram algorithm. But what does<br />

that mean for consumers, businesses, and,<br />

of course, marketers?<br />

For better or worse, social media<br />

platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn,<br />

Twitter, and Instagram regularly change<br />

their algorithms to reinvent how you<br />

experience content.<br />

Remember when Facebook just showed<br />

you everything, with the most recent posts<br />

at the top? Those days are long gone;<br />

with social media platforms having more<br />

control of the content users can see.<br />

So, here’s the truth about social media<br />

algorithms and how they affect businesses<br />

and marketers.<br />

What are social media algorithms?<br />

Essentially, social media algorithms are<br />

simply a way to sort which posts you see<br />

and when.<br />

For example, your typical news feed used<br />

to be in reverse-chronological order, so the<br />

most recent posts were at the top. Now,<br />

the methods are more complex and based<br />

on artificial intelligence and machine<br />

learning.<br />

At the same time, you can still choose<br />

to view your most recent posts first. But<br />

the default setting is to be shown posts<br />

according to the platform’s algorithm.<br />

It’s all about creating a better user<br />

experience—sort of.<br />

Social networks want you to have a<br />

better experience so they can sell more<br />

advertising at a higher price. And that’s<br />

truly why algorithms exist.<br />

How do social media algorithms work?<br />

Every social network is different, but these<br />

algorithms aim to give social media users<br />

Don't be confused by the purpose of social media algorithms.<br />

faster access to relevant content. The<br />

algorithm will often consider relevancy,<br />

shares, likes, retweets, user’s feed, types<br />

of content, and quality content.<br />

For example, a high-quality piece of<br />

content that is on-trend will have more<br />

chances of appearing on a user’s feed.<br />

However, most of this is based on your<br />

own behaviour on the platform. For<br />

example, you may see posts from people<br />

you interact with the most. So if you search<br />

for a lot of music-related content, you’ll<br />

see more music-related posts.<br />

Using these metrics, the algorithm has<br />

a higher chance of showing users the<br />

content they will likely interact with by<br />

sharing, commenting on or becoming a<br />

subscriber; these will, in turn, keep them<br />

on the platform.<br />

The issue for businesses and marketers is<br />

that the algorithm changes frequently, and<br />

the networks aren’t terribly transparent.<br />

However, they often give out snippets of<br />

advice along the way, so good marketers<br />

can keep up with what works best for their<br />

clients.<br />

Facebook’s algorithm, for example, seems<br />

to be moving away from content that is too<br />

explicitly sales-based, focusing more on<br />

relevant conversations. And why wouldn’t<br />

they? They want businesses to pay to<br />

advertise, not do it for free using the right<br />

hashtags.<br />

Social networks<br />

want you to<br />

have a better<br />

experience<br />

so they can<br />

sell more<br />

advertising at a<br />

higher price.<br />

Algorithms for advertising<br />

The same principles apply to all social<br />

media advertising. For example, the whole<br />

basis of Facebook’s advertising program is<br />

that you should, in theory, be able to reach<br />

the right people at the right time.<br />

Therefore, it delivers sponsored content<br />

and social media ads according to<br />

your browsing history and other online<br />

interactions.<br />

The problem is, the social media<br />

algorithms are never perfect. So, if you try<br />

to manage Facebook advertising yourself,<br />

you get nice easy options to let Facebook<br />

choose your target audience and market<br />

accordingly. This is great; however, you<br />

don’t get the particular insight to your<br />

audience that a marketing professional<br />

could deliver.<br />

The ‘fresh content’ illusion<br />

Social media algorithms also work to keep<br />

you interested.<br />

Psychologically, if you keep seeing the<br />

same posts because you don’t follow many<br />

accounts, you think there’s nothing new,<br />

and you’ll check less frequently.<br />

A solid social media marketing strategy<br />

will help you switch it up, so every time<br />

your users open the app, it feels fresh and<br />

new.<br />

This ‘new news feed’ experience also<br />

allows the social media companies to<br />

rotate more ads (impressions) through<br />

your user’s feed, which looks good when<br />

selling advertising to businesses. .<br />

It is important to understand how these<br />

social media algorithms help you optimise<br />

your social media marketing strategy and<br />

deliver better results for you.<br />

SIMON DELL is co-founder and CEO<br />

of Cemoh, a Brisbane-based firm that<br />

provides marketing staff on demand.<br />

He specialises in digital marketing and<br />

brand management. Visit: cemoh.com<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2021</strong> | 55

My Bench<br />

Cosimo Mirarchi<br />

COSIMO. Sydney NSW<br />

Age 37 Years in Trade 16 • Training Certificate III in jewellery trade and manufacturing at Enmore Design Centre. First job Diamond Factory <strong>Jeweller</strong>s Chatswood<br />

• Other Qualifications Bachelor of business<br />





Hand made 18ct white gold, black and white diamond<br />

pavé encrusted cross. This piece was carefully crafted for<br />

a very special client who wanted a point of difference and<br />

to last the test of time. This cross is solid and bold, yet<br />

subtle with beautifully curved edges.<br />

Design is never compensated when making high quality<br />

handmade jewellery.<br />

4FAVOURITE GEMSTONE Pink Argyle Diamonds.<br />

They are one of rarest diamonds in the world and<br />

are sourced ethically and responsibly in Western<br />

Australia. I love how luxurious and grand it makes<br />

our clients feel when creating custom pieces.<br />

4FAVOURITE METAL Platinum of course! If<br />

the metal is meticulously worked with the right<br />

processes, you will have a high lustre crisp finish.<br />

4FAVOURITE TOOL Digital calipers! I love the<br />

accuracy it gives me during manufacturing.<br />

4BEST NEW TOOL DISCOVERY I find that I can<br />

alter my current tools for multiple uses such as<br />

using my flat nose pliers to hold the post of the<br />

earring while polishing instead of using earring<br />

holders.<br />

4BEST PART OF THE JOB The best part of the job<br />

is the creative process to incorporate your clients'<br />

vision into reality.<br />

4WORST PART OF THE JOB I love it all! The<br />

deadlines, the pressure, it’s all part of what pushes<br />

me to achieve perfection.<br />

4BEST TIP FROM A JEWELLER Always check your<br />

work before handing it over to a customer.<br />

4BEST TIP TO A JEWELLER Don’t be afraid of<br />

learning and trying something new. All the skills<br />

I have learned are from trial and error.<br />


Breathing in chemicals is a big one for me. I try to<br />

use non-toxic chemicals where possible and drink<br />

plenty of water.<br />

4LOVE JEWELLERY BECAUSE I love jewellery as<br />

it gives me the chance to express my creativity that<br />

is inspired by the stories of my clients.<br />

56 | <strong>December</strong> <strong>2021</strong>


Soapbox<br />

Is responsible sourcing good for<br />

the people it seeks to protect?<br />

Politicians, the media, and various organisations tell us every day to think<br />

about acting responsibly, however; HUGH BROWN asks: what does that mean?<br />

Responsible sourcing. Ethical sourcing.<br />

Sustainable sourcing. These are examples<br />

of the many buzzwords that are currently<br />

popular today.<br />

There has been swathes of legislation and<br />

due diligence guidance issued by various<br />

organisations and governments.<br />

An entire, new consulting and compliance<br />

industry has not only emerged but has<br />

become ‘massive’. And this means, at<br />

last, consumers can exert influence on the<br />

decisions of the world’s largest companies.<br />

But what do these buzzwords mean, and are<br />

they even worthwhile? What considerations<br />

go into making up the meaning of these<br />

terms and why are they even relevant to you,<br />

as a colour gemstones buyer?<br />

The question is relevant to you because<br />

around 80 per cent of all mined gemstones<br />

is carried out by artisanal miners who dig<br />

and unearth the product with minimal or no<br />

mechanised aids. Very often gemstones are<br />

mined using nothing more than an airleg<br />

drill, picks and shovels, and sometimes a<br />

few explosives.<br />

Therefore it’s these very people that are<br />

primarily ‘in the gun’ when the term<br />

‘responsible’ is used because the remaining<br />

20 per cent of gemstones are mined by<br />

international companies using large-scale<br />

mining equipment.<br />

Unfortunately when broad-brush buzzwords<br />

like ‘responsible’ and/or ‘sustainable’ are<br />

used, typically it conjures thoughts of things<br />

such as child labour, poor safety practices,<br />

environmental damage, and human<br />

trafficking. Organised crime and extremist<br />

groups also often come to mind.<br />

And what all of this ignores are the nuances<br />

in terms such as responsible and ethical<br />

sourcing.<br />

To us, with our First World - mostly wealthy<br />

(comparatively) - frame of reference the idea<br />

of children working in, dangerous mines<br />

sounds bad. Not to mention the fact that<br />

when we were young, most of us had jobs.<br />

My first job was mowing lawns when I was<br />

only five years old.<br />

These days that’s something many<br />

would probably categorise as handling a<br />

dangerous piece of machinery! However,<br />

what people in the developed world do not<br />

understand about the developing world is<br />

that children are a de facto superannuation<br />

scheme for their parents.<br />

That is, if the kids don’t work then the kids,<br />

and quite often the family, don’t eat. Not to<br />

mention the fact that there would simply be<br />

no chance for those kids to venture off to<br />

school to study to be a surgeon.<br />

Another ‘complaint’ that gets wheeled out is<br />

that of poor safety. True!<br />

Safety practices are often deficient, however;<br />

it’s amazing what a person will do if they<br />

see an opportunity for them self and their<br />

family to get ahead. Though I will add that<br />

it’s amazing how much commonsense<br />

and awareness there seems to be among<br />

ASM workers compared to so many of the<br />

institutionalised, let others think for you,<br />

large-scale mining workers wearing<br />

fluoro vests, steel-capped boots and doing a<br />

84-hour week grind.<br />

It’s no different from what goes on for us<br />

in the so-called, 'First World'. How many<br />

people do you know sacrificing the lives they<br />

could be living now for the prospect of better<br />

lives for themselves and family in the future?<br />

For example, the people working as fly-infly-out<br />

miners, labourers, or the 80-hour<br />

week office workers. Most are doing jobs<br />

that they hate for the prospect of better lives.<br />

Miners in the Third World are merely<br />

versions of we in the First World; doing<br />

the best they can for themselves and their<br />

families. We are all ‘miners’ at heart!<br />

Unfortunately, it seems the solution put<br />

forward most frequently is that we must<br />

abandon sourcing from ASM workers in<br />

the Third World with these, so-called, poor<br />

When<br />

broad-brush<br />

buzzwords like<br />

‘responsible’<br />

and/or<br />

‘sustainable’ are<br />

used, typically<br />

it conjures<br />

thoughts of<br />

things such as<br />

child labour,<br />

poor safety<br />

mining practices and shift to supply chains<br />

that incorporate practices that better align<br />

with our experiences in the First World.<br />

Which – wink, wink, nudge, nudge - more<br />

often than not means the shifting of<br />

sourcing to mines that just happen to be<br />

controlled by the large-scale miners.<br />

Unfortunately, I don’t have the space here to<br />

flesh out the definitions of business jargon<br />

like responsible, ethical, or sustainable,<br />

other than to say there are so many<br />

variables that affect these terms that they<br />

become utterly meaningless and are at<br />

the whim of the consultants signing off the<br />

documents on the supply chains they have<br />

been asked to certify.<br />

The terms are subjective - not objective<br />

– and are incapable of a meaningful and<br />

consistent definition or application.<br />

They are no more than buzzwords<br />

and marketing jargon that benefit the<br />

bottom lines and balance sheets of the<br />

world’s major brands. They can, and do,<br />

marginalise and diminish even further the<br />

efforts of the world’s poorest people who<br />

continue their struggle to survive.<br />

So when you need to buy that next beautiful<br />

colour gemstone I urge you to carefully<br />

consider mentions of Responsible or Ethical<br />

Sourcing and think instead about which<br />

option might best offer the opportunity for<br />

those in the world’s poorest countries a<br />

chance to improve their lives.<br />

Would that not be far more ‘responsible’<br />

than simply purchasing a gemstone mined<br />

by an international mining conglomerate?<br />

Name: Hugh Brown<br />

Business: Gemstone Mining<br />

Photographer<br />

Position: Director<br />

Location: Perth, Western Australia<br />

Years in the industry: 30<br />

58 | <strong>December</strong> <strong>2021</strong>



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