VOICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN JEWELLERY INDUSTRY
LAB-CREATED DIAMOND SALES
FORECAST TO DOUBLE BY 2025
IS IT TRUE THAT A RISING GOLD PRICE
DECREASES JEWELLERY SALES?
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YOUR 'AT-RISK' CUSTOMERS
AUSTRALIA'S PREMIER DIAMOND SUPPLIER
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THE WORLD'S LARGEST INVENTORY OF CERTIFIED ARGYLE CHAMPAGNE DIAMONDS
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P +61 3 9650 2243
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MELBOURNE VIC 3000
Helping you shine
Australia is enriched with amazing treasures. Sapphire Dreams pays tribute to the beauty of
natural Australian sapphires, ethically sourced from the sapphire fields of inland Eastern Australia.
Our Australian sapphire jewellery collection is crafted in 9ct or diamond set 18ct gold.
To achieve this level of uncompromised excellence, all sapphires pass through the hands of our
skilled gem cutters to become one-of-a-kind, timeless masterpieces.
Call SGA today to become an Authorised Stockist
SapphireDreams.com.au 02 9290 2199
We are COLOUR
Welcome to the Gift & Lifestyle Fairs in 2022
FEBRUARY 5 – 7, 2022
Melbourne Exhibition Centre
JULY 9 to 11, 2022
Brisbane Convention &
SEPTEMBER 17 – 20, 2022
ICC Sydney Exhibition Centre
Phone: (02) 9452 7575
26 Product Spotlight
36 Jewellers Showcase
10 YEARS AGO
Time Machine: December 2011
NOW & THEN
GW Cox My Jeweller
LEARN ABOUT GEMS
Part I: Synthetic Diamonds
38 GOLD FEATURE
A Golden Age
4Consumers see and hear the price of gold
reported on a daily basis. In a rising market, do
sales of gold jewellery decrease, or is there a
counter-intuitive occurrence; they increase?
How is gold jewellery impacted by the gold price?
DIAMOND INDUSTRY UPDATE
Lab-created diamonds today and tomorrow
Better Your Business
46 FORECAST REPORT
The Great Pretender?
4The future for lab-created diamonds will
not be the great disruptor many predicted.
The potential may rest in the fashion jewellery
and in high-tech applications rather than
quality luxury pieces.
Do you have ‘at risk’ customers? JEANNIE WALTERS explains how to handle them.
DAVID BROWN has some great ideas for staff sales training sessions.
We know COVID’s affect on sellers, but DAVID BROCK asks: what about buyers?
MARKETING & PR
TOM MARTIN reveals what cold, hard data can, and cannot tell us.
SIMON DELL provides insight into making social media algorithms work for you.
36 JEWELLERS SHOWCASE
4Presenting a tapestry of
local talent and jewellery
deigns that have been
right here on home soil
FRONT COVER Established in 1951, Palloys
is Australia’s oldest and most respected
company for jewellery casting, custom
jewellery production, CAD/CAM and gold
refining services. It is the only company to
guarantee its products are 100 per cent
certified Australian gold from Australian
mines, as it sources and controls the supply
chain. To verify its 100 per cent Australiansourced
gold status, Palloys has recently
introduced the Au and Ag hallmark to further
provide confidence and a peace of mind.
December 2021 | 9
Leaders and numbers
have one thing in common...
Jeweller 30:33 18.0 25.2% Australia
Rapaport Magazine 02:14 1.9 56.1% USA
JCK 02:09 1.9 68.5% USA
Instore Magazine 01:59 1.7 70.6% USA
National Jeweler 01:43 1.3 78.4% USA
Jeweller has been the leading voice of the Australian and
New Zealand jewellery industries for more than two decades.
Today we are ranked #1 in the world.
Alexa, the independent global ranking system for measuring
website traffic and readership, now ranks jewellermagazine.com
as the most widely read industry publication globally.
Better still, the daily time spent on jewellermagazine.com averages
30 minutes, far exceeding all other titles which average only
2–3 minutes per visitor, while Jeweller’s social media presence
dominates and our eMags boast well over 12.3 million reads.
It’s clear; the numbers speak for themselves - follow the readers
who follow the leader!
* Alexa Global Ranking statistics as at 23 November 2021
** Bounce rate represents the percentage of visitors who visit and then leave (“bounce”) a website rather than
viewing more pages within the same site, meaning a higher Bounce Rate indicates less reader satisfaction.
J EWELLE R M A G AZIN E . C O M
#Instagram hashtags to follow
5.3 MILLION POSTS
4The 104-carat oval Stuart Sapphire
forms part of the British Crown Jewels
and is believed to have originated from
Southeast Asia. Reportedly having
belonged to Charles II, who passed it
on to his successor James VII and II,
the stone was taken to France after
the Glorious Revolution in 1688. As the
last descendant of James VII and II, the
Cardinal York sold the sapphire to George
III in 1807 at which point it returned to the
United Kingdom from Italy.
9.1 MILLION POSTS
In Queen Victoria’s Imperial State Crown, the sapphire was placed in the
centre just below the Black Prince's Ruby, but in 1909 it was moved to the
back of the crown to make way for the 317-carat Cullinan II diamond. Today
it is on public display with other Crown Jewels in London.
4The stars are aligned! Personalised
trinkets remain a mainstay for the
self-expressive consumer. Amulets with
zodiac motifs are on the rise; Van Cleef
& Arpels hop aboard the celestial trend
with a series of bold colourful pendants
crafted from polished yellow gold
embellished with semi-precious slates
of jade, jasper, turquoise and amazonite.
Image credit: Van Cleef & Arpels
Image credit: @dropsbyjay's Instagram
Weird, wacky and wonderful
jewellery news from around the world
No bones about it
4A ground-breaking collaboration
between the University of Western
Australia and biotech company
Marine Biomedical has discovered
that mother-of-pearl may be
used as a synthetic bone
substitute. Doctors had
traditionally used calcium
carbonate or limestone as in the
past, but Professor Minghao Zheng
from UWA believes that PearlBone
is a better alternative for patients
who require bone grafting and
A clean sweepstake
4A 34-carat diamond was almost
mistaken for a cubic zirconia as it
sat on the desk of a valuer before it
was sent off to experts in Belgium
for verification. The huge stone
belongs to an English woman in
her 70s who was was cleaning
out her Northumberland home.
Valued at £2 million, the stone is
being kept under lock and key at
London's Hatton Garden until its
auction later this month.
app has launched in
4Money by Afterpay will move beyond
buy now, pay later transactions and more
towards ‘traditional’ banking by offering
a savings account and a debit card to its
users via Westpac. It aims to become the
default financial management tool for young
Afterpay says the accounts won't charge fees
and a 1% interest rate will be paid on savings.
The app will offer social media-inspired
insights based on account balances and its
buy now, pay later usage, granting users a
one-stop overview of a their financial position.
4Tiffany & Co collaborates with cult
fashion brand Supreme releasing an
androgynous six-piece collection.
Paying a playful tribute to its Return
to Tiffany collection, the taglines now
read Return to Supreme and rehash
classic Tiffany designs. With versatile
pearls to sterling silver keychains, a
star bracelet, and heart tag earrings,
this collaboration is set to draw crowds
of brand-savvy Gen-Zs.
Need to see kelp
4Sottish artist Iona Turner has been
selected by the Scottish Goldsmiths
Trust and Lyon & Turnbull for an
online exhibition featuring pieces
of jewellery made from foraged
seaweed. Using only sustainable
materials, the 22-year-old’s pieces
feature necklaces and earrings to
brooches fashioned from the washed
up knotted-wrack seaweed, which
dries in varying shapes and colours
depending on the time of year and
which beach it comes from.
VOICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN JEWELLERY INDUSTRY
Published by Befindan Media Pty Ltd
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Apprentice wins coveted opal
Two entrants tie for coveted TAFE Queensland
Jewellery Apprentice of the Year award.
Two people were awarded Jewellery Apprentice
of the Year in TAFE Queensland’s annual design
competition. It's the first in the 18-year history
of the training institution that dual winners were
awarded the top honour.
Adrian Hogan's 'Reef Glow' won the Emerging category.
Third-year apprentice Adrian Hogan has won the
Emerging Category – Jewellery Design at the Queen
of Gems International Jewellery Design Awards,
which are hosted by the Queensland Boulder Opal
Association and held during the annual Opal Festival
Hogan’s entry, 'Reef Glow', is an ocean-inspired
pendant necklace featuring a blue Queensland
boulder opal set in finely polished gold and platinum.
Describing the creation of his piece, Hogan – a
self-described “opal addict” – said, “I was inspired to
create this piece by rays of starlight and the rich glow
of a coral reef. The rolling curves of the star's rays
take influences from the slow waves of the ocean and
the natural flow of the body of a sea urchin.”
Hogan was awarded $1,000 in prize money and
a certificate. Alongside running opal cutting and
dealing business, Match Maker Opals, Hogan is
currently undertaking a Certificate III in Jewellery
Manufacture at TAFE Queensland, combined with an
apprenticeship with Matthew Alexander Jeweller in
Dr Brian Heim, general manager of TAFE
Queensland, said of Hogan’s winning entry, “It is
incredible to think that this stunning piece was
created by a student who is just starting in the
jewellery manufacturing industry.
“I’m proud that TAFE Queensland is producing
apprentices with the skills that make them
employable now and well into the future,” he added.
Hogan plans to enter the Queen of Gems competition
again in 2022 in the Professional Category, adding,
“Now I need to find the perfect stone I can start
cutting, polishing and bringing it to life.”
The other winners at this year’s QBOA Queen of
Gems International Jewellery Design Awards were
Rita Williams, whose piece 'Renewal' took the
top prize, the People’s Choice Award, followed by
Angela Hampton’s 'Peacock' which won the High
Commendation, and Robyn Carmichael’s 'The Heart
of the Reef', which earned the Commendation title.
Brock Hodgson and Paul Armstrong,
fourth-year apprentices from TAFE’s South
Bank campus, tied. Both were awarded the
Apprentice Jeweller of the Year - an awards
program celebrating the talents and creativity
of graduates for Certificate III in Jewellery
Armstong completed an apprenticeship at
Hogans Family Jewellers, while Hodgson
worked at Stephen Dibb Jewellery.
According to Jackie French, director of faculty
creative arts, presenting two awards based on a
tie was a surprise for the judges.
"The judges and I were blown away by the
quality of everyone's jewellery,” French said,
acknowledging the creativity of the winners.
"As we continue to recover from the pandemic,
and consumers return and drive demand in
the jewellery industry, TAFE Queensland must
provide its apprentices with the skills they need
to be employable now" French added.
For his winning pieces, Armstrong made a
signet ring with diamond and gold inlays and
a pair of sunglasses with interchangeable
lenses highlighted with gems and gold inlays
in each arm of the frame, paired with matching
Diamond Council redefines conflict diamonds
World Diamond Council (WDC) president
Edward Asscher has urged the Kimberley
Process members to reassert its stand on
expanding the definition of conflict diamonds to
promote long-term consumer confidence.
Addressing delegates during the opening
session of the 2021 Kimberley Process
Plenary in Moscow, Asscher noted that young
consumers are becoming increasingly aware
and expressing their demand to know the
environmental and social credentials of their
purchased products, especially diamonds.
"The diamond is a product that has the
potential to both speak to the aspirations of
this new generation, as a natural resource with
the potential of providing sustainable economic
and social opportunities to the communities
that produce it, or be rejected, as a nonessential
luxury item,” Asscher said.
“We have the ability to decide that choice, but
Paul Armstrong, left and Brock Hodgson with awards.
cufflinks. Hodgson crafted an intricate
handmade set composed of a ring, pendant,
"I have loved my block training through TAFE
Queensland," Hodgson said.
"The on-campus training blocks were so
important for learning techniques."
Armstrong had similar sentiments: "We all
come from different backgrounds, different
areas of the industry and have different career
trajectories, so we share and learn a lot when
Competition entrants were provided four weeks
to design and create three jewellery pieces
based on specific criteria. This year’s theme was
“Reflections”, judging based on quality, artistry,
strength, durability and wearability of designs
and overall quality.
we will do so only through actions and not
Asscher’s challenge came in light of what he
considered as the Kimberley Process being
“unable to deliver progress” on the matter,
asking delegates, “why do we persistently fail
to make substantive progress on expanding the
definition of conflict diamonds – a move that
almost all of us understands is necessary?”
The WDC president reiterated a statement he
made during the KP inter-sessional meeting in
June about the risks of an emerging two-tier
"The upper, more established tier of
companies, which are able to independently
monitor their supply chains, is able to meet
consumer expectations. But the lower, less
established tier, will see its market share
diminishing, often through no fault of its own,"
14 | December 2021
More turmoil at Baselworld; 2022 show cancelled,
managing director resigns
Strong momentum seen for
trading until December
As predicted, jewellery trading has been gaining
strong momentum for the first half of November
and expected to carry on until the end of the year as
businesses are reopening throughout Australia since
the COVID-19 lockdown.
Overall, Retail Edge’s mid-month report for 1
November to 15 November showed the ‘bounce back’
with sales in dollars up by 8 per cent compared with
November 2020 and a significant increase of more
than 28 per cent in November 2019.
MORE BREAKING NEWS
Visitors gather in the Messe Basel in more successful times for the once mighty watch and jewellery fair.
As if the chaos and confusion surrounding
Baselworld over the past two years has not
been enough, the show's organiser MCH Group
has announced the cancellation of the Spring
2022 event, scheduled for 30 March -5 April.
A brief media statement issued on 12
November (European time) on the MCH Group
website stated: “Baselworld organisers have
decided to take more time for the launch of the
new concept. Baselworld, scheduled for spring
2022, will therefore not take place.”
The move has also triggered a decision by
Baselworld’s managing director Michel Loris-
Melikoff to leave the company.
The announcement is sure to surprise the
international watch and jewellery industry
given that only five months ago MCH declared
that the newly invented name – HourUniverse
– created to re-launch the show after years
of turmoil, had been scrapped in favour of
returning to the original ‘Baselworld’ brand.
On 23 June this year, a media statement
announced: “Baselworld was held for the last
time in 2019. Now it is back in March-April
2022, and it will be very different.
“Instead of focusing on the spectacular
appearance of luxury brands in the watch,
jewellery and gemstone sector, the new
Baselworld will primarily be a B2B platform in
the mid-range luxury segment.
The future concept combines trends in the
experience marketing market with the needs of
the entire community in the mid-and high-end
segment of the watch, jewellery and gemstone
However, less than five months later, Beat
Zwahlen, CEO MCH Group said, “Over the
past few months, we have studied in detail our
watches, jewellery and gems ecosystem and
gained important insights from discussions
with major industry representatives.
"The conclusion is that the market exists for a
B2B2C platform that brings together mediumsized
and specialised manufacturers with
independent retailers. But their needs must be
analysed in more detail. This means we need to
have significantly more time to get there.”
The 12 November media statement explained
that the decision to cancel the 2022 event was
“based on the one hand on the experience
gained from the Pop Up Event at the Geneva
Watch Days and on intensive discussions with
manufacturers and retailers.
"On the other hand, it takes into account the
fact that it is particularly difficult to launch a
new concept for a new target segment due
to the renewed aggravation of the COVID
situation and the associated uncertainty among
It also added that Michel Loris-Melikoff
managing director “has decided to leave the
company and take on a new challenge.”
Loris-Melikoff joined the management team of
Baselworld in 2018 following the resignation of
Sylvie Ritter, who had been managing director
of Baselworld for 15 years. Ritter quit in May,
after the 2018 edition of the show.
Michel Loris-Melikoff was named as her
successor and assumed the position of
managing director on 1 July.
“In a short period of time, he [Loris-Melikoff]
managed to gain access to the industry and win
its respect,” the media statement explained.
“He initiated and helped shape the necessary
transformation and repositioning of Baselworld.
The MCH Group regrets his decision. It thanks
him for his tireless commitment and wishes
him all the best for his future engagements.”
Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, it means
that only one event had taken place in the three
years of Loris-Melikoff's management.
The strongest growth was seen on average retail
(inventory) that increased by 9 per cent compared to
last year, but a more significant rise at 22 per cent in
According to Mike Dyer of Retail Edge, this is the
first time since the lockdown that the industry is able
to make an “apples to apples” sales comparison
and they show the figures to help businesses get
motivated by seeing the increased activity in jewellery
sales and consumer spending.
“In fact, we felt it was so important to give the
industry some insight, and hopefully some
motivation, after another very challenging period,
that we produced this information with a positive
vibe,” Dyer said.
While sales units saw a slight increase of 0.2 percent
compared with November 2020, it was higher at 5
percent compared with November 2019.
Diamond jewellery sales dollars increased by 33
percent at $2.2 million, compared to $1.6 million in
November 2020, but it was significantly higher at 72
per cent based on a two-year comparison.
However, precious metal jewellery (no gemstone)
saw a 6 per cent decline in sales dollars at $170,000
compared with $182,000 in November 2020, but
saw an increase of 9 per cent based on a two-year
“These numbers portray and reinforce that so get
on board, get motivated and get selling (and) hoping
that this first half momentum continues through the
balance of November and provides early impetus into
December,” Dyer added.
Sales trends for Australian jewellers could be very encouraging
December 2021 | 15
Nationwide breakthrough report
delicate pink tone of
Argyle pink diamonds
Nationwide Jewellers has launched its Merchandise Performance
report that can provide members with access to vital sales and
product data to help independent retailers achieve better sales and
improve stock turnover rates.
Colin Pocklington, managing director, Nationwide Jewellers said
the new reporting ‘tool’ will be integrated into a store’s point-ofsale
(POS) system and will be exclusively available to Nationwide
members, calling it a major breakthrough for independent jewellers.
“Our objective was to provide independent jewellers with some of
the tools that until now, have only been available to chain stores. The
chain stores have instant access to information that identifies the
best-selling products across their store network,” Pocklington said.
The Merchandise Performance report is currently accessible to
members using The Edge POS system of Retail Edge Consultants
and, according to Pocklington, the software is aimed at substantially
increasing sales for independent retailers by determining the bestselling
products by price range, department, and supplier so they
know how to craft their retail strategies.
“This plays a major part in their ability to maximise sales, and is one
of the key reasons why the sales in the average jewellery chain store
are 2.5 times greater than sales in the average independent jewellery
store,” Pocklington said.
He explained that most chain stores have an average turnover of $2
million a year, which is 2.5–3 times larger than the average annual
sales of $750,000 for independent stores.
According to Pocklington, the same data is used by chain stores in
marketing products on a national level, to determine which products
and suppliers generate higher sales, and strategically identify which
best-selling products to leverage based on location throughout
Australia and New Zealand.
“The two reports will assist our members to achieve substantial
increases in sales, and improvements in stock turn rates,”
The Merchandise Performance will complement the existing onepage
Retail Management Report that was made available in the Retail
Edge system ten years ago. Nationwide will support members who
wish to migrate to the Retail Edge POS system. .
E email@example.com W samsgroup.com.au P 02 9290 2199
New Australian sapphire gemstone jewellery range launched
SAMS Group Australia has introduced a new
range of Australian sapphire jewellery. Sapphire
Dreams includes a wide range of sapphire and
sapphire-and-diamond jewellery set in 9 or
18-carat gold, as well as loose sapphires.
Steve der Bedrossian, CEO SAMS Group Australia,
told Jeweller: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the
response and had our full quota of stockists
fulfilled within weeks of releasing the range,”
going on to explain that “we’ve exceeded any
expectation we had, and the feedback for the
stock has been exceptional, indeed virtually every
piece has been accounted for.
Australia is enriched with amazing treasures. Sapphire Dreams pays tribute to the beauty of
natural Australian sapphires, ethically sourced from the sapphire fields of inland Eastern Australia.
Our Australian sapphire jewellery collection is crafted in 9ct or diamond set 18ct gold.
To achieve this level of uncompromised excellence, all sapphires pass through the hands of our
skilled gem cutters to become one-of-a-kind, timeless masterpieces.
The brand aims to showcase the wide variety of
colours of Australian sapphires, including the
iconic teal shade, parti-colour, orange, and blue.
“I love Australian products, and I always try
to use unique materials that are sourced in
Australia. The colours of Australian sapphires
are amazing, and there was no brand around
Australian sapphires, so I realised that it was
something that I could create.”
Promotional material for the new collection
explains: “Sapphire Dreams pays tribute to
the beauty of Australian sapphires, celebrating
the art of craftsmanship and contemporary
jewellery designs. Proudly Australian owned
and operated, we have more than 50 years of
experience in luxury jewellery and working with
Australian gemstones. All of our products are
of impeccable quality, ethically sourced and
Der Bedrossian explained that “Sapphire
Dreams is the first of its kind and the only
Australian jewellery brand that celebrates
Australian sapphires and their breathtaking
colour range, which is unlike anywhere else in
the world. Many other brands use sapphires
from elsewhere, including Sri Lanka, Thailand
and Burma [Myanmar], while we, on the
other hand, wanted to honour the Australian
provenance of these mesmerising gems.
“We have also created a unique certification
and inscription process to verify the origin and
authenticity of every sapphire.”
Each Sapphire Dreams gemstone bears an
inscription on the girdle and is accompanied by
a verified Sapphire Dreams certificate of origin,
with der Bedrossian saying, “We only supply and
work with ethically-sourced Australian gems
that are natural and origin-certified."
Sapphire Dreams has been recently launched with success.
Call SGA today to become an Authorised Stockist
SapphireDreams.com.au 02 9290 2199
Kunming Diamonds breaks records with final tender
Named Once in a Blue Moon this Tender collection consists of 41 lots of carefully curated Argyle blue and violet diamonds. .
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Rio Tinto’s recent and final diamond tender included
'Once in a Blue Moon', a rare collection of blue
and violet diamonds that were won by Kumning
Diamonds, a Hong Kong-based specialist colour
Kumning purchased the entire 41-lot Argyle
collection – totalling 24.88 carats – which was titled
the Once in a Blue Moon Tender.
The Argyle mine in the East Kimberley region of
Western Australia is best know for its pink diamond
production however, small blue and violet diamonds
were the occasionally discovered. They have been
described as “a beautiful array of shades”.
Following the tender, a Rio Tinto media release
stated that “with the closure of Argyle it is extremely
unlikely that there will ever be another collective
offering of iconic gems in this colour spectrum from
a single mine.”
Sinead Kaufman, chief executive Rio Tinto said,
”The rarity and beauty of the Once in a Blue Moon
diamonds speaks volumes. They are highly coveted,
the ultimate limited edition and we congratulate
Kunming Diamonds on their global bid.”
Kunming Diamonds, which has had a log
association with Argyle’s pink diamonds, is a
founding member of the Hong Kong Indian
Diamond Association, an honorary member of the
Natural Colored Diamond Association (NCDIA), and
a member of the Fancy Color Research Foundation.
Harsh Maheshwari, executive director Kunming
Diamonds said, "We are delighted to be part of
Argyle's legacy in this historical moment, acquiring
the Once in a Blue Moon collection. We cherish
becoming the custodians of the final Australian
treasures from this iconic and industry-defining
mine, and look forward to unearthing the incredible
possibilities in the years to come."
He added, “Beyond the fact that this collection is
nature's finest and ultimate treasures, the Once in
a Blue Moon collection was the climax of the mine's
billion-year-old heritage, and its historic ascent of
over three decades to the pinnacle of luxury.”
The closure of the mine has meant that diamond
suppliers have to consider life after Argyle.
“We only had one thought in mind whilst seeing
them and placing our bids, it will be extremely
unlikely that there will ever be another cumulative
offering of iconic gems in this colour, of blue and
violet, spectrum from a single mine,” Maheshwari
According to Maheshwari, it meant that "there was
a lot of sentiment and psychological price additional
paid to be confident at this Tender."
In other news, Rio also conducted a pink diamond
tender consisting of 70 rare pink and red stones.
The collection, titled The Journey Beyond, is a
historical collection mined at Argyle in the final year.
According to a Rio statement, the tender was
a “record breaking price performance across
individual diamonds and for the overall collection.
The diamonds were fiercely contested around
the world in a series of virtual and face-to-face
There were 19 successful bidders from nine
Australian jeweller, John Calleija, won Lot 1, Argyle
Eclipse, a 3.47-carat, radiant shaped fancy intense
pink diamond. He was also the successful bidder
for Lot Number 5, Argyle Bohème, a 1.01-carat,
radiant shaped, fancy red diamond.
“It is an extraordinary opportunity and a privilege to
be part of this historic collection. We are humbled
to be the custodians of these uniquely Australian
jewels and are delighted to be part of their enduring
legacy,” Calleija said.
Other bidders won three diamonds from the
collection. Lot 2, Argyle Stella and Lot 4, Argyle
Solaris were purchased by Singapore interests,
while Lot 3, Argyle Lumiere went to the US.
Maheshwari said that COVID-19 had impacted the
most significant factor when placing a bid for these
quality diamonds: the travel to physically view the
stones, “but it's 2021 and technology has proven to
be an integral part to the success of the Signature
Tender - only around a third of the participants.
viewed the collection virtually.”
Lightbox issues new treatment policy
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OR 18CT GOLD
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Lightbox's new policy of disclosing treatments covers D to F-colour stones.
Lightbox, the De Beers-owned lab-created diamond jewellery business,
has announced its new policy of disclosing treatments used in the
creation of grown diamonds but still maintains such declarations are
The new policy covers D to F-colour stones of its Finest collection
and VVS-clarity stones launched as a primary offering in August. The
diamonds are created using chemical vapour deposition (CVD) and high
pressure-high temperature (HPHT) annealing to improve the stones’
colour through a later heating-and-cooling process.
“It was important to us to be transparent with the consumer that the
higher price per carat for a Finest stone is reflective of the additional
refinement step,” a Lightbox spokesperson told Rapaport but said that
any decision to make such disclosures rest with the producer.
Previously, Lightbox has not been declaring treatments stating that
such treatment is only a step in the entire production process and does
not affect the value of the stones.
A similar treatment method is used on its 1.5 to 2-carat classic line
and with all stones in the standard category. According to a Lightbox
spokesperson, all diamonds are supplied with a declaration.
The lab standard stones - roughly G to J - are “near colourless” and
have VS clarity.
Lightbox stopped offering lab-created stones of up to 1 carat since it
developed a cost-effective method of achieving the desired colours with
bigger diamonds, but becomes more difficult as longer growing time
could reduce the stone’s quality.
Meanwhile, the company also started disclosures for the standard pink
and blue lab-created diamonds, both of which undergo electron-beam
treatment and another heat-treating process for pinks.
However, standard white diamonds below 1-carat are not subjected to
the treatment process.
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The company has no plans for labeling products “as grown” which is
commonly used in marketing diamonds that do not undergo postsynthesis
treatments, according to the spokesperson who also said
that Lightbox will not use it as “an excuse to not offer higher-quality
products at affordable prices.”
“As we expand our lab-grown diamond product range to include stones
of larger size and even higher qualities, we will continue to bring our
fair and transparent linear pricing to all our high-quality lab-grown
diamonds, and we will look at innovative ways of continuing to deliver
exceptional quality at competitive prices,” the spokesperson added.
still available, including more
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De Beers new global campaign
'A diamond is forever.' – Forevermark celebrates De Beers' famous 1947 slogan.
De Beers has launched a new global campaign reviving its iconic
“A Diamond Is Forever” slogan and centred on human relational
commitments to promote the brand.
Considered to be an ambitious move by company executives, the minutelong
“I Do” video highlighted the marketing strategy combining De Beers
Jewellers and De Beers Forevermark into a unified brand image.
Bruce Cleaver, CEO De Beers Group said, “For more than a century, De
Beers has played a central role in helping people express their enduring
commitment to their partner.
"Today we see a new generation of consumers who wish to communicate a
wider commitment: a commitment to their own personal development, to
their friendships, to their families, to society, and to the natural world.”
The campaign features the diamond jewellery range of the two De
Beers houses and focuses its message on the power of forging personal
commitments through traditional wedding vows to inclusive gender-neutral
The company also reiterated
its commitment to adhering to
responsible and sustainable practices
with its code of origin initiative, which
determines the source of natural and
“We want to invest in the name De
Beers, which we consider one of our
greatest brand assets,” David Prager,
De Beers executive vice president and
chief brand officer, told JCK.
“It’s a far more diverse and inclusive
campaign that you’ve seen from us before and, frankly, that you’ve seen
any diamond jewellery brand. It understands the diamond dream is for
everyone,” Prager said.
“The launch of the campaign marks a turning point for De Beers, and paves
the way for our ongoing commitment to being a purpose-driven company.
Solid Gold Collection
Established for over five decades, Classique is renowned
for high quality, elegant and ageless timepieces.
Classique’s range of Solid Gold watches come in various designs, some
featuring diamonds and are engineered with Swiss made movements.
Suitable for every occasion. Stylish, modern, classic, and timeless pieces.
"Our two Jewellery Houses come from one powerful brand that is proud to
stand for commitments by people all over the world, to what means most to
them,” Celine Assimon, chief executive officer, De Beers Jewellers and De
Beers Forevermark said.
“We lead by example, committing to creating a positive impact in the places
where our diamonds are found, and for the people that connect with them
along their journey,” Assimon added.
The “I Do” campaign marks a new strategy in De Beers' 133-year history.
Crime gang apologises to Graff Jewellers over ransom data leak
Having hacked and stolen information from
luxury jewellery, Graff, the notorious Russianbased
ransomware hacker Conti apologised to
several high-profile identities after having leaked
their personal and sensitive information on the
Dark Web last month.
In an unusual twist for a criminal gang, Conti
released a statement on 4 November saying:
“We found that our sample data was not properly
reviewed before being uploaded to the blog”
and it assured Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar
families whose names appeared on the leak that
any information pertaining to the royal family
members “will be deleted without any exposure
The gang specifically mentioned Saudi Crown
Prince Mohammad bin Salman, in response
to the Daily Mail UK's report of the Graff data
attack, which also included details of high-profile
clients former US President Donald Trump,
as well as celebrities Oprah Winfrey and David
Beckham, among others.
It removed 69,000 documents posted online
following the apology, which they claimed
represented only 1 per cent of their total haul
but assured that none of the stolen files was
“sold on auctions or offered as samples, or
revealed in any other capacity to any third party.”
Cybersecurity experts believe that the
unexpected response from the crime syndicate
could have been borne out of fear of possible
repercussions from any of those customers on
the list, among them are Middle East leaders.
Former British military intelligence officer
Phillip Ingram told Daily Mail that Conti could be
worried about upsetting the Saudi Crown Prince,
who was suspected in the past of ordering
cyberattacks against enemies and sanctioning
the assassination of a Saudi dissident. Salman is
also believed to be an ally of Russian President
The orchestrated attack was aimed at extorting
Graff for multi-million-dollar blackmail in
exchange for the hacked files that included
invoices, client lists, receipts, and credit details
of the jeweller’s clientele.
Despite the removal of the controversial
documents, the group threatened to publish –
after a more “rigid” review - information from the
Graff files “regarding the financial declarations
made by the US-UK-EU Neo-liberal plutocracy,”
which they believe are engaged in expensive
purchases as their territories “are crumbling
under the economic crisis, unemployment, and
According to global technology consultancy
firm Unit 42 of Palo Alto Networks, the FBI
has connected the syndicate to more than 400
cyberattacks worldwide - three-quarters of
which were carried out in the US - with blackmail
demands of up to $US25 million.
In other crime news, Spanish authorities have
arrested a Croatian national in Barcelona
believed to be a member of the notorious crime
gang, The Pink Panthers.
The suspect is wanted in Germany for a string
of jewellery heists worth around 715,000 euros
($AU1.12 million). He was wanted for assault
and battery, robbery with violence, and illegal
possession of weapons.
The Pink Panthers is an international criminal
network of jewellery robbers who carried
out carefully planned heists publicly in broad
daylight. The gang is believed to have been
operating for nearly two decades when a fiveperson
team stole the Millennium necklace in
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Swarovski introduces new board of
directors as a company milestone
Austria-based jewellery company Swarovski has announced its newly
constituted board of directors composed of the founder’s family
members and independent shareholders.
Considered to be a “milestone in company history” after breaking
tradition of keeping its business affairs within the family since inception,
a Swarovski media statement advised that the designation is “in
accordance with the basic principles of the new governance and the
pursuit of new impulses and external expertise.”
The new committee will “act as a link to improve management between
the owner families and the company.” The non-family members are
Luisa Delgado who was elected as the new board chair, Annalisa
Loustau Elia, Markus Fiechter, Manuel Martinez and Robert Singer.
Family members who will continue to serve on the board are Robert
Buchbauer- who has been elected as the board’s vice chair, Markus
Langes-Swarovski, and Mathias Margreiter.
The board assumed their roles effective 15 November and are tasked to
expedite the process of finalising the vacant positions for chief executive
officer and chief finance officer of the company.
Delgado is currently the head of Schleich - a toy company based in
Germany - and former CEO of eyewear company Safilo Group.
Non-family board members Elia previously served as EVP of Cartier
and CMO for Groupe Printemps of France; Feichter was the former CEO
of Jacobs Holding AG; Martinez- board chair for shoe giant Bally, and
Singer- former CFO of Gucci Group and COO of Abercrombie & Fitch.
The company, which was established by Daniel Swarovski in 1895
and has been run and controlled by the founder’s descendants, was
reportedly marred with power struggles among family members that
prompted calls for a leadership revamp.
Haute Jewels Geneva 2022 to showcase
16 jewellery brands at event
It’s all systems go for Haute Jewels Geneva 2022 on 30 March to 5 April
2022, with 16 of the world’s finest jewellery brands joining the exhibit at
the Fairmont Grand Hotel in Switzerland.
Haute Jewels Geneva is expected to be “bigger and better, promising to
be a glorious celebration of fine jewels,” according to organisers, where
exhibitors will be showcasing their artisan creations offering a “unique
yet like-minded approach” to haute jewellery craftsmanship.
“We are thrilled (to) be returning again in 2022,” Michael Hakimian,
Haute Jewels Geneva founder and CEO Yoko London, said.
“This unique show is a collaboration between sixteen harmonious
brands, bringing together their expertise to create a forward-thinking
event that addresses the needs of the supplierand the buyer in our
Some of the participating jewellery brands include: Yoko London,
Roberto Coin, Sutra, Crivelli, Bayco, Etho Maria, Stenzhorn, Marco
Bicego, Mariani, Palmiero, Picchiotti, Gorgoglione, and Hans D. Krieger.
Ph: +61 3 9587 1215
“Spring 2022 really feels like a brand-new start for the industry, as
important trade events are finally going to take place in person,” Maria
Carola Picchiotti, director of marketing and communications, Picchiotti
7,525-carat emerald; one of the largest
emeralds discovered in Africa
A 7,525-carat emerald weighing 1.5 kilograms has been discovered
in the Kagem mine in Africa, which is the biggest of the three large
emeralds mined from the same area since 2010.
The emerald was named Chipembele – which translates to ‘rhino’
in the local Bemba dialect and the largest – to date, followed by
the 6,225-carat Insofu meaning ‘elephant’ mined in 2010 and the
5,655-carat Inkalamu or ‘lion’ in 2018.
According to UK-based Gemfields, which owns and operates the
emerald mine in partnership with the Zambian government’s Industrial
Development Corporation, the naming of uncut emeralds is a practiced
tradition reserved for the rarest and most remarkable gems.
The gemstone was discovered in July by geologists Manas
Banerjee and Richard Kapeta - leader of the team who also
discovered Inkalamu in October 2018 - whose team were surprised by
the discovery and remarked that the gemstone looked like a rhino’s
horn, hence its name.
According to Jackson Mtonga, assistant manager, Kagem Sort
House, “A key Gemfields tenet is that Africa’s gemstone wealth must
contribute meaningfully not only to host-country economies, but also to
conservation efforts, host communities and the next generation by way
of education, healthcare and livelihoods projects.
“We are delighted that the legacy of Chipembele will support
rhinoceros conservation efforts, bringing a positive impact to
conservation communities in Zambia.”
Chipembele will be auctioned and a share of the proceeds will assist
funding the black rhinoceros conservation efforts of the North Luangwa
Conservation Program in Zambia.
Winning bidders shall have the option to have their stones subjected
to the provenance proof service using a unique DNA nano-tag identity
certification developed by the Gübelin Gem Lab of Switzerland.
The certification process, also known as the Emerald Paternity Test,
involves the use of nanoparticles coded into the stone containing details
such as its origin, miner, mine location, and date of production.
Luxury Pearl and Opal Jewellery
+61 2 9266 0636
Grown Diamond Association launches IGDA 2.0
The International Grown Diamond Association
(IGDA) has launched IGDA 2.0, which is a
completely revamped version of the trade
association aimed at supporting and serving the
rapidly expanding lab-created diamond industry.
“IGDA 2.0 will provide focused services to support
the growing number of global lab-grown diamond
companies,” Dick Garard, executive director, said.
“We have an aggressive strategic plan that
begins with the involvement of the entire global
lab-grown diamond industry, many longtime
supporters, and the welcome addition of newer,
The event was highlighted by the launch of its
new website, announcement of a new wideranging
board of advisors, distribution of a
new consumer point of sale and promotional
materials, sales associates training, and a newly
established network of international chapters.
Other priorities of the association include
educating consumers and promoting lab-created
“Clearly consumer interest in the lab-grown
diamond category is growing rapidly and
globally,” Anna-Mieke Anderson, founder, and
CEO of US-based lab-created diamond retailer
MiaDonna, told Instore.
“In response to the consumer demand, there
has been a significant increase in the number
of retailers stocking the product, as well as
an expansion in the number of designers
and manufacturers incorporating lab-grown
diamonds into jewellery styles.”
IGDA was established in 2016 as a nonprofit
group to serve as the centre for education,
communication, and development of the
lab-created diamonds industry worldwide.
China’s lab-created production hit by power crisis
Liu told Bloomberg that around three million
carats of lab-created diamonds are produced
annually in China, which is almost half of the
seven million carats made globally each year.
While the impact is “not too significant so far,”
according to Liu, producers have expressed
plans to increase prices without providing
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The current energy crisis in China has taken
its toll on the country’s lab-created diamond
industry, as production dropped by 10-15 per cent
in the past month or so which could cause prices
to increase towards the end of the year.
The rising prices for coal used for power
generation and the effects of the COVID-19
pandemic were blamed for the power shortages,
according to Liu Houxiang, a consultant at China’s
National Gemstone Testing Center.
Police have charged a 42-year-old man who was
allegedly running a diamond scam that earned
him more than a million dollars.
The Melbourne man claimed that he owned a
diamond mine in Sierra Leone. He is accused
of scamming three people by offering them the
opportunity to ‘invest’ in his mine.
After an initial down payment, people were asked
The manufacture of lab-created diamonds
requires extreme temperature and pressure to
replicate the diamond-making process and can
only be achieved when power demand is met.
However, the lab-created diamond industry is not
the only industry impacted by the power shortage
that started in the Chinese summer. Among the
hardest hit since September are manufacturing
companies such as apparel factories, metal
producers, and suppliers for Apple products.
Currently, China is one of the largest producer
and consumer markets for lab-created diamonds
in the world for use in jewellery, technology,
medical, and industrial use.
Diamond fraudster charged after $1 million scam
to provide equipment and gifts for his staff, and
after receiving the items the man sold them
It was a profitable con, as police said that the
three alleged victims provided the man with more
than $1.4 million combined, with one providing
the man with more than $1 million, and the other
two ‘investing’ at least $100,000 each.
Colour diamonds continue to impress
The 2.83 carat oval cut Argyle Violet, graded Fancy Deep Grayish Bluish Violet colour.
The latest data from the Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF) indicates
blue diamond prices have further increased in price and done so again
more than pink diamonds over the third quarter of 2021.
The Q3 2021 edition of the Fancy Color Diamond Index – which tracks prices
of blue, pink, and yellow diamonds traded in New York, Tel Aviv, Geneva, and
Hong Kong – showed prices continued to rise across the board, with a 0.7
per cent increase this quarter, and a 1.1 per cent increase over the year.
The general increase was led by blues stones, which increased by 0.8 per
cent, with Pinks and Yellows following closely behind at 0.7 per cent and 0.6
per cent respectively.
"Pink diamond prices continued to rise in Q3, led by the Fancy and Fancy
Vivid grade categories. Fancy Pink 1-carats rose by 1.8 per cent and Fancy
Vivid Pink 5 carats rose by 1.7 per cent. The lowest performance was seen
in the 3-carat category in the Fancy grade, which decreased by -0.3%.".
According to FCRF Advisory Board member, Eden Rachminov, “This
increase was actually expected, as Fancy Color prices were too low for too
long. In my opinion, most colors will keep increasing in price over the next
two years, especially the yellow category in all grades.”
Pink diamond prices continued to rise in Q3, led by the Fancy and Fancy
Vivid grade categories. Fancy Pink 1-carats rose by 1.8 per cent and Fancy
Vivid Pink 5 carats rose by 1.7 per cent. The lowest performance was seen
in the 3-carat category in the Fancy grade, which decreased by 0.3%.
Compared to the previous quarter Yellow diamond prices increased which
was largely due to appreciation in the 5-10-carat weight categories.
Among the smaller diamonds, 1-carat Fancy Vivid Yellow stood out, with an
increase of 1.9 per cent.
But it was Blue diamond prices that did best in Q3 with the Fancy Vivid Blue
category seeing 8-carat stones increase by 2 per cent, while 5-carat blue
diamonds rose by 1.9 per cent.The Fancy Intense grade category displayed
the lowest rise of 0.4%, with 2 carats declining by 1.1%.
Store closed; customers upset
A Gold Coast jeweller has upset customers after agreeing to repair
and sell their jewellery on consignment, and then failing to return their
pieces after his store was closed.
Inca Gold Jewellers closed unexpectedly in August, leaving customers
unable to retrieve the jewellery they allegedly entrusted with business
owner Robert Dalton.
It is still unresolved three months later, leaving some people feeling
frustrated. It has been discovered that Dalton does not possess a
current second-hand dealer’s license.
Dissatisfied customers have contacted both the media and the
Queensland Office of Fair Trading, in the hopes of resolving the matter.
On The Market
1 2 3
Jeweller’s monthly compiled
snapshot of the latest and greatest
products to hit the market.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Time Machine: December 2011
A snapshot of the industry events making headlines this time 10 years ago in Jeweller.
4 Roy King distributor in liquidation
4 Tiffany and Pandora defy odds with solid profits
4 Ice-Watch number one
4 Liz Taylor’s ‘Crown Jewels’ to be auctioned
4 Young Jewellers Group hits three tonne
Will Apple launch an iWatch?
It wouldn’t be the first time a computer
company entered the watch market, but
Rumours about Apple Computer launching an
iWatch have been around for a few years.
The speculation began around the time of
the iPod Nano launch and when third-party
manufacturers designed plastic watchbands to
hold the Nano.
Arguably, wearable computers have been a
reality for a long time given the wide array of
high-tech digital watches already on the market,
and it wouldn’t be the first time a computer
company entered the watch market, but if
Apple launches the iWatch could it be a gamechanger?
Crazy or brilliant ad campaign?
In a departure from the norm, a Norwegian
jewellery company has decided that the best
way to launch its new 2012 jewellery range is to
douse a beautiful woman in petrol and burn her
at the stake, wearing the company’s jewellery,
Bjørg Jewellery created a short film titled
‘Heresy’, which portrays a woman being burned
at the stake. Although it’s beautifully filmed, one
wonders what the message is given the viewer
sees just a fleeting glimpse of the product. Blink,
and you’ll miss it!
The theme of the film and print advertising
campaign is “Not all who wander are lost”, and
the company’s website explains, "The collection
makes up an odyssey of imagination, mystique
and poetry, switching between dreams and reality,
thus welcoming Dark Knights, Pale Moons, Magic
Hours and Misty Mountains."
ON THE COVER Tips to Treasure
4The one and only sales secret: "If anyone
wants to know the secret to making
money in tough times, please stand
behind your chair.” Everyone in the room
stood up and the expert said, "Now turn
your chair upside down".
Bewildered, the staff upturned their
chairs only to see an envelope taped to
the bottom marked “Secret”.
Inside was a crisp, new $20 note taped
to a sheet, which read: There are no
secrets in this world BUT … you just
earned $20 by getting off your arse.
When times are tough, do it more often!"
4Smile! It’s Christmas: “When I moved
to Australia 20 years ago now, I
constantly heard people saying the
words, “No worries,” when everyone
seemed worried about something.
The key is to remain positive and trust
your instincts. You can’t change the
direction of the wind, but you are still
the master and commander of your
ship, so remember to adjust your
– Bunny Bedi, director,
Made in Earth Creations
STILL RELEVANT 10 YEARS ON
Pitfalls of social media marketing:
Promoting free speech and endorsing
opinions via social media platforms
can help businesses interact with their
demographic, but it’s equally important
for businesses to regulate the posts of
Jewellery World Show
Announced only weeks ago by the publisher
of Jewellery World magazine, it appears
Sydney’s proposed second trade fair has
already been canned.
Dubbed Jewellery World Show (JWS), the
event, owned and operated by the Intermedia
Group, was scheduled for 26-28 August 2012,
only a week before the industry’s official
JAA International Jewellery Fair. However,
rumours about the show’s early demise
began circulating last week.
A floorplan was issued to prospective
exhibitors at the beginning of December
showing spaces for around 350 booths.
Jewellery World publisher, John Abolins,
announced that his new, rival show was
slated for Sydney’s Moore Park.
for jewellery retailer
Magnolia Jewellery has plans for an
aggressive expansion program in 2012,
along with an increased online presence.
The 27-store silver jewellery retailer is
preparing to open a dozen new stores in key
CBD locations and regional cities next year.
Magnolia Jewellery CEO, Nati Harpaz told
Jeweller the location of the new stores will be
finalised by New Year and will be opened in
areas with heavy foot traffic.
Harpaz believes the company is currently too
small. The CEO explained that he intends to
implement extensive marketing campaigns
to build brand awareness.
READ ALL HEADLINES IN FULL ON
28 | December 2021
SEA POINT, CAPE TOWN & PARKHURST, JOHANNESBURG with Kristin Weixelbaumer, owner • SPACE COMPLETED 2019 & 2020
4Who is the target market and how did they
influence the store design?
Our target market is all ages. We love seeing that
journey of a young person buying their first piece
of silver or gold-plated jewellery for himself or
herself, to someone buying a lifelong gold piece
that they’ll be able to pass down for generations.
Female empowerment is a core value of ours
so we generally cater towards women. We want
women to be their best, most confident selves.
We also encourage people to accept all parts of
themselves, flaws and all. Our identity as ‘black’
speaks to that beautiful part of us that is not afraid
of the dark. This has been a huge influence on how
we have created the space - we play up the drama
with lots of black, skulls, candles etc.
Then we have textures and metals that shine
through beautifully, like our bright diamond that
shines at the back of our Sea Point store.
4With the relationship between store
ambience and consumer purchasing in mind,
which features in the store encourage sales?
The first thing that springs to mind is our Sea
Point store’s gold-painted entrance, which gives
a feeling of walking into a display case filled with
Our aim is to create a super creative, fun and
comfortable store environment. Both stores have
lovely couches to welcome customers to chat
with our staff about possible bespoke pieces
and to open the floor to make the jewellery
experience personal. We want our customers to
really feel heard so that’s an important part of
Our ‘ear candy section’ is also a favourite. It’s
where customers can look and play with designs
before they get their ears pierced, and so they
can carefully consider how we are piercing them
and with what jewels.
4What is the store design’s ‘wow factor’?
The jewels, of course!
30 | December 2021
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Now & Then
G W Cox My Jeweller
Celebrating 123 Years • ADELAIDE, SA • A moment with Jon Cox, General Manager
L to R: Early days of G W Cox on 23A Hindley Street, Adelaide; the team at G W Cox My Jeweller, 15 Rundle Street
George William Cox with
his wife Lillian open in
Hindley Street, Adelaide
opposite Miller Anderson,
George moves location
to Number 1 Rundle
At 14 years old, Cecil
James Chilton Cox
joins the company.
L to R: George, Cecile, Gerald & Jon Cox
It has been 123 years since
watchmaker George William Cox,
together with his wife Lillian, opened
the doors of their first jewellery store
in Hindley Street, just across the road
from the former Miller Anderson
George’s story as one of the most famous
jewellers in South Australia began when
his grandfather travelled from England
and set foot in Adelaide sometime in 1858
and established a brickworks business in
the Norwood area.
Wanting to make a name for himself,
George learned watchmaking by
working in a jewellery store in Parkes,
Victoria before venturing on his own.
As fate and timing would have it,
Adelaide was needing another jewellery
store, so he took on the challenge.
In 1909, George sought to expand his
small business and decided to move his
store to No.1 Rundle Street - across King
William Street - which turned out to be a
good choice as the business grew.
Cecil James Chilton Cox joined the
company in 1916, shortly after his 14th
birthday, and started learning the trade.
His son Gerald started working for the
company in 1949 and was exposed to
the business at a young age when he
used to run messages for the shop.
In 1954, when Cecil passed away, Gerald,
then 21 took over the business and
credited the success of the business to
its staff who supported and guided the
young owner in making the G.W. Cox My
Jeweller brand into what it is today.
The years that followed saw the
business become a family affair since
Gerald’s wife Sue joined the company in
1955 as a bookkeeper; followed later by
their son, Jon, as General Manager and
daughters, Robyn and Meredith, who
worked part-time in the company.
Gerald regarded their employees as
part of their extended family and were
instrumental in the growth of the
Most of the staff stayed with the
company until they retired from work.
G.W. Cox My Jeweller has had its fair
share of excitement from smash-andgrab
thieves, heists, and robberies
through the years. Nonetheless, the
business still stands.
Jon, currently General Manager, said
that so much has changed over the
years; “When reflecting on my time in
the business, I think the biggest change
has been the structure of the industry,
which has come about with the use of
modern technology to manage stock
and marketing,” he said.
“Back in the 80s, jewellery was
manufactured in Australia and
distributed through a network of
wholesalers. If you needed a gold chain,
you could wander down the road to the
local wholesaler and get the chain for
“The client was happy to wait, you
had enough staff to leave the store.
Computers were a new toy”.
He remembers his first week of fulltime
work and an occasion where he
Gerald Matthew Cox
joins company, and runs
messages and learn the
business as a young
Cecile Cox passes away
and Gerald, 21, takes over
As the new owner, Gerald
seeks new location and
moves back to Hindley
Street after Rundle Street
Opens shop at 15 Rundle
Street, opposite Myer.
Purchases building at
99 Rundle Mall.
Jon Cox starts as
Opens store in Tea Tree
Plaza Shopping Centre
Jon Cox joins the
business. Jon and Gerald
travel to Europe and the
US to meet suppliers.
Celebrates 100 Years.
Opens store in Marion
Closes Tea Tree Plaza
had to visit a jewellery store directly
across the road: “Dad had a client
who wanted a pair of cuff links. We
did not have them in stock.
So, Dad said to me, ‘go and introduce
yourself to Peter Wendt [store owner]
and ask him if he can let you have a
pair of cuff links to sell to my client’.
I did, and Peter was lovely, he gave
me the cuff links and said I could
give him a replacement pair once I
received them from my supplier.”
Jon believes there is a vastly reduced
wholesale and manufacturing
industry in Australia today, the
world has become ‘smaller’ as most
suppliers are international.
“Marketing is different. My father was
very active in the mass media of the
time, especially radio and television,
whereas today, our clients are found
online,” he explained.
So, what does the future hold for the
“The structure of retail today enables
growth in sales without physically
building new shops. There is a lot
of productivity under-utilised in the
“I think our growth will be in the
online arena, and the shop will grow
sales because of being engaged
online,” Jon said.
Read the full length interview
32 | December 2021
Supplying Australia Since 1974
PHOTO BY CHRIS VON WANGENHEIM | CVWANGENHEIM.COM
Completing my Diploma in
Gemmology has benefited
me as a jeweller in more
ways than I ever expected.
I have always had an interest
in gemstones and found
the course was not only
informative and challenging
but immensely rewarding.
Studying with the GAA has also
allowed me to meet like-minded
people from many facets of the
jewellery industry and grants me access
to resources that I will continue to use
throughout my professional career.
Emma Meakes FGAA
Jeweller, John Miller Design - WA
Enrolments now open
For more information
1300 436 338
ADELAIDE BRISBANE HOBART MELBOURNE PERTH SYDNEY
Passionately educating the industry, gem enthusiasts
and consumers about gemstones
Part I: Synthetic Diamonds
L to R: Anabela Chan earrings; Vrai necklace;
Diamond Foundry's lab-created diamond
rough before cutting Below: Kimai necklace;
Lightbox Jewelry earrings
Of all the great debates in the gem and
jewellery industry, the ‘hottest’ topic
continues to be natural versus synthetic
diamonds. Varying, and sometimes,
‘opposing’ information is continually
published as both synthetic and natural
diamond technologies continue to develop.
The initial confusion: what’s in a name?
It appears the industry prefers the term
‘lab-grown’ or ‘lab-created’ diamonds to
‘synthetic’ diamonds. Technically, ‘synthetic’
is the most accurate term, although both
‘laboratory-grown’ and ‘laboratory-created’,
without shortening to ‘lab’, are also
accepted by the CIBJO industry standard.
These names all represent diamonds
manufactured in a laboratory that have the
same chemical composition and physical
properties as natural diamond.
On the other hand there are synthetic
stones designed to look like diamonds but
are imitants because they are not the same
chemically and/or physically, such as cubic
zirconia and moissanite.
The first recorded synthetic diamonds
were largely experimental, designed for
use in advanced technological settings.
In 1970, General Electric announced it had
produced gem-quality colourless, blue, and
yellow synthetic diamonds suitable for the
As technology and the understanding of
diamond synthesis improved, new variations
of these gems were produced including
synthetic blue diamonds, supposedly
‘grown from human remains’!
The first method of diamond synthesis
responsible for commercially available
synthetic diamonds, still available today, was
a High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT)
synthesis. This aims to recreate natural
diamond growth by subjecting carbon to
extreme pressure and temperature, as the
The apparatus grows diamonds at
pressures around 53,000 atmospheres
(1 atmosphere is the average pressure
we feel on Earth) and temperatures
Generating this level of energy is expensive
and requires larger equipment than the
more recently introduced synthesis method
of Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD). This
method is very different to the geological
processes that create natural diamonds.
CVD diamonds are grown within a vacuum
chamber from a gas containing carbon,
such as methane. Exposing the gas to
microwaves ionises the carbon atoms,
which deposit and grow on a diamond
seed crystal within the chamber. Over time,
changing the gas used and the purity of the
diamond seed plate has resulted in better
quality CVD synthetics.
CVD synthetic diamonds are usually
Type IIa – a ‘purer’ type of diamond with
negligible nitrogen impurities, found in
only 2 per cent of natural diamonds.
Although HPHT synthetic diamonds
were mostly Type Ib in earlier production,
introducing a new step in the growing
process means Type IIa are now commonly
grown for the jewellery industry.
These days, portable testing equipment
designed to identify and separate colourless
natural diamonds from synthetic, such
as the Presidium Synthetic Diamond
Screener II, measure diamond’s response to
Also known as labgrown
Manufactured in: China,
Mohs Hardness: 10
Refractive Index: 2.42
ultraviolet light in order to suggest whether
it may be Type IIa. In the screening process,
any colourless diamonds that show signs
of being Type IIa should be sent to a
gemmological laboratory for further testing
for confirmation of natural or synthetic
The most well-known features of synthetic
diamonds include metallic inclusions
in HPHTs (which can cause them to
be attracted to magnets), stronger
fluorescence in short-wave ultraviolet light
than long-wave (the opposite of natural
diamonds), phosphorescence, and strain
patterns caused by the growth process and
their different morphology (crystal shape),
which varies between HPHT, CVD, and
Accurate and reliable identification can
be simple by identifying growth patterns,
fluorescence and phosphorescence,
or it may be difficult, requiring more
advanced gemmological testing, such as
As technology continues to improve,
disclosure and education become
increasingly important. Next month will
provide insight into the treatments that
may be applied to synthetic diamonds in
Synthetic Diamonds: Part II.
Mikaelah Egan FGAA Dip DT
began her career in the industry at
Diamonds of Distinction in 2015. She now
balances her role as a gemmologist at
Vault Valuations in Brisbane with studying
geology at the University of Queensland.
For more information on gems and
gemmology ,go to www.gem.org.au
December 2021 | 35
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THE UPS & DOWNS OF
IN A TOPSY-TURVY WORLD
Consumers see the price of gold reported on a daily basis, and in recent times that price has
been rising. Does this negatively impact sales of gold jewellery, or is there a counter-intuitive
occurrence; gold jewellery sales increase when the gold price increases?
K E Y FIGURES
Gold by the
The price of gold
The price of gold
in August 20211
The 2020 decline
in gold demand
was 15% of sales
for ‘average’ store
The price of gold has steadily risen since the start
of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are a number of
reasons for this, and the most obvious is that gold is
always seen as a ‘safe haven’, or a store of value. As a physical
commodity, gold cannot be printed like money, and its value
is largely unaffected by government interest rate decisions.
For that reason gold has historically maintained its value over time;
it serves as a form of insurance against adverse economic events, of
which the global pandemic is an example.
If the above is accepted as a ‘truism’, then how does the price of gold
affect consumer demand for gold jewellery?
It’s an excellent question and one that is not easily answered on a
global scale, largely because of differing ‘relationships’ some cultures
have with gold. Think India!
However, given the world has just experienced a significant global
catastrophe, and the gold price increased during the time, it does allow
us to analyse and compare what has happened over the past two years.
While the pandemic significantly impacted many industries and
international markets throughout 2020, gold was largely unaffected;
in January it was priced at around $US1,550 per ounce, a price at
which it rarely fell below. By December 2020 it had increased to
more than $US1,800 per ounce.
Plunge in sales
On the international front, data from the World Gold Council (WGC)
indicates that jewellery sales plunged: “Jewellery demand in 2020
dropped to its lowest annual level on record, decimated by the
combination of the global pandemic – with its resultant market
lockdowns – and record-high gold prices at a time of economic
The January 2021 report explains that “total annual jewellery demand
dropped to 1,411.6t, the lowest in our annual data series and 34 per
cent lower year-on-year. The two largest markets, India and China,
were the two major contributors to the annual decline.” (See Chart A)
Understandably, the WGC collates historical annual data back to 1995.
The report goes on to explain that “although jewellery demand showed
continued signs of quarterly recovery from the lows reached in Q2 when
market lockdowns were at their peak, it remained very weak in Q4.”
However, the news was not all bad because the WGC predicted that
Continued page 41
CHART A: COVID-19 THUMPED ANNUAL GOLD JEWELLERY DEMAND
Sources: ICE Benchmark Administration, Metals Focus, Refinitiv GFMS, World Gold Council;
Note: Data as of 31 December 2020. Jewellery value is calculated by multiplying the tonnage
figure and the annual average LBMA Gold Price PM in US dollars
TOLL FREE 1800 GERRIM
PO Box 3168 Yeronga
Tiffany & Co.
2019 - 2021 GOLD JEWELLERY SALES
TRENDS THROUGH DATA
The charts below compare the sales of gold jewellery for the past three years - 2019, 2020
and 2021 (October). The data is a representative sample of more than 400 independent
Australian jewellery stores collected via Retail Edge POS software during a time where the
price of gold has steadily increased.
CHART B: 2021 – UNITS SOLD AND DOLLAR VALUE
JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
CHART C: 2020 – UNITS SOLD AND DOLLAR VALUE
JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
CHART D: 2019 – UNITS SOLD AND DOLLAR VALUE
18ct Diamond & Precious Coloured Gemstone Jewellery
Daniel Jacuk - 0412 071 103
JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
TRADE ANALYSIS | Golden Connections
“while jewellery demand volumes were likely to
remain relatively subdued as COVID-19 continues
to impede the normal functioning of many
markets across the globe, mass vaccination
program and signs of improving economic
indicators imply that we expect to see continued,
if tentative, improvement in the sector in 2021.”
And so it was that by July this year the WGC
was reporting that “jewellery demand (390.7t)
continued to rebound from 2020’s COVID-hit
weakness, although remained well below
typical pre-pandemic levels, partly due to
weaker Indian demand growth and only a few
months later its October report declared that
“Jewellery continued to draw strength from the
ongoing global economic recovery: Q3 demand
rebounded 33% year-on-year to 443t.”
Macro versus micro
This data is at a macro level and does not
necessarily relate to the ‘at the coalface’
experience of jewellery retailers worldwide.
In other words, what might be happening in one
country/market may not be replicated in other
markets. Local factors impact consumer buying
Mike Dyer, sales manager at Retail Edge, a
specialist management consultancy firm in the
retail jewellery market, details a different side
or outcome from that of the WGC data.
While the pandemic
significantly impacted many
industries and international
markets throughout 2020,
gold was largely unaffected;
in January it was priced at
around $US1,550 per ounce,
a price at which it rarely fell
below. By December 2020 it
had increased to more than
$US1,800 per ounce. "
He believes “there are several factors that
influence the retail selling price of gold, the
best way to measure the comparative movement
would be the number of items sold, and to
analyse this with just gold jewellery.
“Units sold figures for full calendar year 2019
compared to full calendar year 2020 shows just
a 6.3 per cent increase in units sold. Markups
[retailer margin] achieved are almost the
same which points to an increase in consumer
demand rather than a resistance to price.”
Of course, one explanation could be that
consumers who were still buying gold jewellery
during the global pandemic - and during a
period of a high gold price - could have been
choosing lower ‘quality’ and therefore, lowerpriced
However, Dyer’s data - collected from more than
400 independent Australian jewellery stores via
the Retail Edge POS software - suggests that
there was no shift to 9-carat designs rather than
18-carat to save money: “There is no evidence
in the items sold information [by Retail Edge
clients] that points to a drop in 18-carat unit
sales and an increase in the 9-carat unit sales.”
(See Charts B, C and D left)
The three-year data from January 2019 to
October 2021 shows gold jewellery sales peaked
in December 2020, just as Australian cities were
re-opening after long lockdowns. It indicates
that 13,300 gold jewellery units were sold
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nationally in that month, with Australians spending
close to $4.5 million on gold jewellery in December
2020, which was the highest across the entire
The second-highest month of the same period
was December 2019 – 11,485 pieces sold, with
$3.1 million spent on gold jewellery.
Interestingly, November, May and April 2020 resulted
in large gold jewellery sales; 4,914, 4,521 and 4,262
units sold respectively. It should be noted that
many Australian capital cities were in lockdown
during these months and, despite this, Australian
consumers continued to purchase gold jewellery.
Further, the highest performing months in 2020
outrank their respective (pre-pandemic) months in
2019 - despite the gold pricing rising across 2020.
During this timeframe, the gold price peaked in
August 2020 at more than $US2,000 per ounce
and yet Australian gold jewellery sales across the
Retail Edge client stores remained high in the same
period; with 3,643 gold jewellery units sold in August
2020, beating August 2019’s 3,246.
Turning the table
Jeffrey Christian, partner CPM Group, a New York
based commodities research and consulting firm
has another slant on the topic: “Yes, it is correct
that overall higher gold prices lead to less gold
being used in jewellery. Similarly lower prices will
lead to more jewellery demand. It is not just high
prices but also volatile prices that reduce gold use
He explains that the decline in demand occurs at
two levels, “Jewellers reduce their per unit gold
content in their jewellery to keep the jewellery
‘affordable’ and within ‘price points’ that are
attractive to consumers. Consumers react to higher
gold prices partly because there is some increase
"We have noticed in the past that
as the gold prices have increased,
platinum sales have nearly
tripled, as customers looks for
less expensive alternatives.”
“Higher gold prices lead to less
gold being used in jewellery.
Similarly lower prices will lead
to more jewellery demand.”
“Something I have noticed is
that when gold prices rise, the
consumers are more interested
in buying large 18-carat pieces,
and we quote a lot more of these
when the gold price rises."
Golden Mile Jewellery
TRADE ANALYSIS | Golden Connections
Gold Price Percent Change
CHART E: 40 YEARS OF GOLD JEWELLERY DEMAND & PRICES PROJECTED THROUGH 2020
Source: CPM Gold Yearbook 2021
Gold Jewellery Demand
Gold Price (Right Scale)
YEAR 79 81 83 85 87 89 91 93 95 97 99 01 03 05 07 09 11 13 15 17 19
in the jewellery prices and partly because of the
perception that higher gold prices ‘no doubt’ are
increasing jewellery prices.”
Christian’s experience in the industry is long,
and in fact in an open letter to mining company
executives dated January 2001, he indicated that
gold jewellery production has little or no effect on
the price of gold: “Over the past few months CPM
Group has been asked by executives at several
gold mining companies that are clients of ours
about the price implications of rising jewellery
and/or investment demand for gold. Gold prices
never will rise significantly due to growth in
jewellery demand,” he wrote 20 years ago.
In 2000, and when the gold price were at a low of
$US271 per ounce, the head of a bullion trading
company commissioned an advertising agency
to create a ‘pitch’ to the gold mining industry
for a consumer advertising and marketing
campaign to promote gold jewellery, in a similar
way that De Beers once ran generic campaigns
promoting diamond jewellery to consumers.
Following lengthy research, Christian advised
the gold miners: “As it has been explained to
us by several gold producers, the gold mining
industry is being asked to spend large amounts
of scarce financial resources to promote gold
use in jewellery. The marketing people behind
this promotional effort are said to have been
producers that only by stimulating gold jewellery
demand can producers ever hope to see gold
“While it is a noble and worthy effort for
producers to promote gold jewellery, mining
industry executives must understand that it
is impossible to drive gold prices significantly
higher on a sustained basis with jewellery
It should be remembered that his comments
are coming from the ‘other side of the fence’.
That is, how gold jewellery production affects the
price of gold bullion rather than how the price of
gold bullion affects the pricing of gold jewellery
manufacture, which then affects jewellery
retailers, especially small independent stores.
November, May and April
2020 resulted in large
gold jewellery sales; 4,914,
4,521 and 4,262 units sold
respectively. It should be
noted that many Australian
capital cities were in
lockdown during these
months and, despite this,
continued to purchase gold
Christian told Jeweller: There are four broad
issues that affect the volume of gold used in
jewellery design and manufacture, as well as
consumer demand for gold jewellery:
• Gold and jewellery prices
• Income levels, disposable income, senses of
• Fashion trends
“In the end the mining companies rejected the
proposed consumer advertising program.”
Think globally act locally
One of the important lessons from the pandemic
is the fragility of globalisation; supply chains and
channels fell apart. Suddenly buying local became
not only paramount but also the only option.
James Bishop, operations manager Morris and
Watson, one of Australia’s largest chain jewellery
manufacturers and refiners, says, “The pandemic
has impacted a number of industries over the
last two years so it is difficult to narrow down a
particular trend specific to the jewellery industry.
While the price per gram for gold has increased
this has not had a negative impact on sales.
“Jewellers appear to be very busy despite the
interruptions due to the pandemic, this is
possibly a result of national and international
travel restrictions ensuring people spend their
money locally.” He believes that COVID-19 has
focused many retail businesses on local supply.
“More jewellers and retailers of all sizes are
also looking to purchase from local suppliers
due to national and international supply chain
disruptions and a customer base that is
becoming more socially and environmentally
focused,” Bishop says.
Jacinta Collins, general manager Golden Mile
Jewellery Manufacturers, says that “definitely,
when the price of gold jumps up, traditionally
it always meant that retailers held off on
re-ordering stock, in the hope that the price
would drop down again. When the gold price
didn’t drop down but instead continued to climb
further, we found that retailers realised that they
better hurry up and re-order.” “If retailers left it
too late, then they’d find that they weren’t able
to replenish their stock to the same level as the
December 2021 | 43
Golden Connections | TRADE ANALYSIS
COLIN POCKLINGTON'S INSIGHT
Van Cleef & Arpels
The change in the price of gold over the past 40
years has had a major influence on sales of gold
jewellery, as would be expected.
When I worked at Hooker Retail (Prouds, Edments
and Diamond Traders) during the 1970s and early
1980s, the gold price was quite steady, and a lot
cheaper than today.
Therefore, sales of gold jewellery were not
impacted to any great degree by gold price
However, the floating of the Australian dollar in
1983 added an additional volatility factor – currency
Once gold jewellery prices started to escalate – as
a result of the combination of higher gold prices
and a drop in the AUD/USD rate – sales of gold
jewellery were heavily impacted.
Consumers would ask for an 18-carat gold
chain, but when they realised the cost, would buy
9-carat instead. Additionally, as prices continued to
increase from 2005, consumers would often switch
from gold to silver.
Back in the 1970s and 1980s gold jewellery sales
were about 15-20 per cent of sales for an ‘average’
jewellery store, with silver jewellery only 5 per cent.
For most of the past 20 years, these figures have
been reversed, with silver jewellery outselling gold
Several years ago, there was a resurgence in
sales of gold jewellery – our theory is that many
consumers have only known gold jewellery to be
at current price levels, and have not experienced
significant increases since 2000.
The most surprising change in gold jewellery sales
occurred in 2020/21 with sales of non-stone-set
gold jewellery increasing by about 100 per cent from
September 2020 when compared to 2019 sales.
While jewellery sales overall benefitted from the
post lockdown sales surge, sales of gold and
diamond jewellery were particularly strong, and
I think there are two reasons for this:
1. Consumers who would normally earmark
money for overseas/expensive holidays spent
on valuable items of jewellery
2. Some consumers purchased gold jewellery
on the basis that it doubles as a commodity /
safe haven for their money.
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amount they want to spend now, and it would get
them a reduced amount of stock to what they
However, things have changed over the past few
years, according to Collins: “We have seen much
less of that [retailers not re-ordering], and we
are noticing customers replenishing their stock
more regularly with automated orders that keep
their stock levels constantly topped up without
needing to invest in a big lump sum.”
Chris Botha, operations manager Palloys,
says that sales of gold jewellery has remained
“roughly the same, however, a notable change
is a reduction in the purity of gold. Higher gold
prices will often see people opt for 9-carat and
14-carat jewellery over 18-carat.
“It’s not a lockstep correlation, but you’ll often
see jewellery sales increase in the 9-carat range
rather than 18-carat as the price of fine gold
Interestingly, Botha points to another side effect.
There can also be an increase in demand for
platinum as a result of gold volatility: “We have
noticed in the past that as the gold prices have
increased, platinum sales have nearly tripled, as
customers looks for less expensive alternatives.”
Arthur Papagrigoriou, director of Melbournebased
Athan Wholesalers, specialising in 9- and
18-carat pendant chains and imported Italian
chains, is another who says that the gold price
“We found a correlation in the increase in the gold
price and reduced gold jewellery sales during the
first sudden price rises in 2006, gold increased
and sales decreased, however, in recent times it
[sales] seems to be more steady. And there was
definitely a shift from 18-carat to 9-carat as the
gold price increased as many find the price of
18-carat out of reach,” Papagrigoriou explained.
Bishop says that Morris and Watson’s experience
has been different. “While there are always priceconscious
shoppers who lean towards 9-carat
gold, 18-carat gold will always remain a popular
option with many jewellers and their customers.”
Collins echoes Bishop’s view. “Something I
have noticed is that when gold prices rise,
the consumers are more interested in buying
large 18-carat pieces, and we quote a lot more
of these when the gold price rises. However,
most consumers realise that it is much more
expensive than they expected and generally end
up buying 9-carat as it is the more affordable
option,” she says.
Industry stalwart, Ted Pevy, director Jewellery
Centre, established in 1977, is well placed to look
at long-term trends.
“We are seeing a move to women wearing fewer
pieces, but better pieces and gold fits into that
description as well. Where they had lots of little
chains, now it’s one bigger, better chain. As
far as the gold price is concerned, it actually
increases the desirability of gold jewellery.”
Pevy also says that while 9-carat gold pieces
are the more popular item, “18-carat gold
jewellery sales certainly have increased and our
experience is we are selling more 18-carat than
we have for quite a long time.”
Bishop adds that there has been “a renewed
interest in 14-carat gold in the last couple of
years, offering a third option for people conscious
of both metal value and price. This can be helpful
for anyone that is unable to decide between
9-carat and 18-carat gold.”
What can we make of all of this? Well, one thing
is clear, there is no definitive answer as to if,
and how, the price of gold affects sales of gold
jewellery, other than to say a trend in one market
may not be relevant to other markets. There is
no simple answer in a topsy-turvy world; and in a
world that has seen many ups and downs in the
past two years, it would be a bold person to claim
they have the answers.
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The Synthetic Future
Lab-created diamond jewellery market :
FORECAST TO ALMOST
DOUBLE IN SIZE BY 2025
Image: Diamond Foundry
The future for lab-created diamonds will not be the great disruptor many predicted. The potential may rest
in fashion jewellery and in high-tech applications rather than quality luxury pieces, says PAUL ZIMNISKY.
he Diamond Foundry plans to build a
new plant that will reportedly produce
10 million carats per annum to cater for
the industrial tech market.
Along with the world’s largest fashion jewellery brand
Pandora – which is currently testing a line of ‘affordable’
lab-diamond jewellery - the man-made diamond market
appears to be stratifying into a more nuanced industry away
from one that was, just a few years ago, primarily focused on
‘disrupting’ the natural diamond jewellery market.
In the five or so years since larger, higher-quality labdiamond
jewellery began hitting the wider market (at first
in the US), production technologies have vastly improved,
the number of suppliers has greatly increased and many
retailers have begun to trial, and in some cases fullyadopt,
the novel product.
This has resulted in suppliers segmenting into more
specific business strategy aims such as lowest-cost
diamond jewellery, carbon-neutral branded diamonds or
non-jewellery super-material applications.
Estimated lab-diamond production for use in jewellery
has grown from just a few hundred thousand polished
carats per annum as recently as four or five years ago,
to almost 3 million polished carats in 2021 worth almost
US$2 billion, based on the polished diamond value at retail
(‘loose diamond equivalent’ or excluding jewellery cost).
This figure represents an estimated mid-to-high singledigit
percentage of the total global polished diamond
production of new
IPO valuation of
market (See tables right).
As the lab-made industry expands, man-made diamond
manufacturers are taking different approaches to
production and product positioning.
In recent years, US and Israeli tech start-ups such as
WD Diamonds and Lusix, have seemingly focused on
lower-emission, more sustainable production methods
to differentiate their jewellery product.
On the other hand, Diamond Foundry has publicly
expressed a longer-term aim at targeting single-crystal
diamond wafer production for use in semiconductors, an
industry many times larger than the jewellery industry.
Other companies are seemingly targeting lowest-cost
diamond jewellery production.
The number of lab-made manufacturers in India is
estimated to have increased rapidly driven by relative
cost benefits in the country as companies there benefited
from subsidised energy (the greatest variable cost for
man-made diamond manufacturers) and domestic access
to the industry’s largest manufacturing hub.
In China, some legacy, high-capacity high-pressure-hightemperature
(HPHT) producers continue to upgrade their
production technologies allowing for larger, higher-quality
gem production – allowing them to compete with more modern
chemical vapour deposition production (CVD) methods.
On the downstream end of the lab-created diamond
jewellery market, it seems that many consumers who
choose a lab-diamond rather than a natural diamond
46 | December 2021
INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL
TABLE A: LAB-GROWN POLISHED DIAMOND MARKET FORECAST
TABLE B: 1-CARAT POLISHED DIAMOND JEWELLERY PRICE COMPARISON
TABLE C: MARKET SEGMENTATION OF LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS
CHARTS AND ANALYSIS BY PAUL ZIMNISKY © 2021
REPORT REPUBLISHED WITH PERMISSION
Inset: Diamond Foundry
Right: Anabela Chan
are doing so because of the notable price
Based on a survey of prices, a consumer can
buy a better-than-average-quality 2.15-carat
lab-diamond solitaire for the price of an
equivalent 1.00-carat natural stone.
In general, the price differential between
generic lab-diamonds and natural diamonds
has steadily widened in recent years – in
some cases expanding from a 10–15 per cent
differential just a few years ago to as much as
75 per cent or more at present.
Consequently, the widening
wholesale price differential
between lab-created and
natural could influence the
way that down-stream retailer
brands and jewellers market
That is, the differential being the ‘discount’ of
a lab-diamond relative to a natural diamond of
similar size and quality (See chart on page 47).
This price variance is likely, at least in part,
due to the production fundamentals of the two
products: lab-diamonds are manufactured
product, whereas natural diamonds are a nonrenewable
resource of varying quality and size.
Consequently, the widening wholesale price
differential between lab-created and natural
could influence the way that down-stream retailer
brands and jewellers market the products.
While it is likely that some lab-diamond
companies will successfully apply branding
leverage and other strategies allowing their
product to garner a premium to most (especially
generic) lab-diamonds, longer-term it is
forecasted that an increasing amount of labdiamond
jewellery will be marketed towards
fashion jewellery consumers.
The (Red) Diamond Ring, created by
Diamond Foundry x Jony Ive & Marc Newson,
sold at Sotheby's for US$256,250 in 2018
In other words, lab-diamonds will be used in
lower-priced jewellery competing less with
higher-priced natural diamond jewellery.
For example, Pandora’s new lab-diamond
collection, marketed as Pandora Brilliance,
is being positioned to ‘democratise’ diamonds,
according to the company.
The collection starts at a US$350 price point
and includes pendants, earrings, bracelets
and rings – although the rings are not directly
being marketed as engagement rings.
This price variance is likely,
at least in part, due to the
of the two products:
whereas natural diamonds
are a non-renewable resource
of varying quality and size."
Swarovski, another iconic global fashion
jewellery brand, recently launched a fancycoloured
lab-diamond collection available in an
array of vibrant proprietary colours - colours that
are not typically available in natural diamonds.
The collection doesn’t appear to be positioned
as a bridal product either. Other retailers'
strategies appear less clear.
Mid-market US department store majors,
Macy’s and JCPenney, which have historically
sold an array of other man-made gems, began
offering lab-diamond jewellery in 2018.
The following year, Signet Jewelers, the
largest mid-tier jewellery conglomerate in
48 | December 2021
FORECAST REPORT | The Synthetic Future
the US, began selling a limited amount of labdiamonds.
All three companies are offering lab-diamond
bridal/engagement options as well as more
Tiffany & Co., the largest fine jeweller in the
world, as well as high-jewellers such as Cartier
and Bulgari, do not directly offer lab-diamonds,
nor do the larger, jewellery chain stores in China,
the diamond industry’s second largest, and fasted
Blue Nile, which is estimated to be the world’s
largest online retailer of diamonds, began offering
De Beers’ Lightbox lab-diamonds late last year.
The collection is exclusively sold as non-bridal
jewellery and is priced using a linear method of
US$800 per carat (up to 2-carat solitaire in size).
However, Blue Nile’s fast-growing competitor,
Brilliant Earth, which recently went public at a
valuation exceeding US$1 billion, is speculated to be
one of the largest sellers of lab-diamonds globally –
as fine and fashion jewellery.
Looking longer-term, innovative and emerging
industrial diamond applications is forecasted
to drive the man-made diamond industry’s
Moi Moi Fine Jewellery
QUICK RE V IE W
As the lab-made industry
expands, man-made diamond
manufacturers are taking
different approaches to
A testing time
Many retailers have begun to
trial, and in some cases fullyadopt
Emotion still rules
The consumer’s rational for
diamond jewellery is still
influenced by emotion or an
affinity for rarity.
greatest growth, whether it be in advanced thermal
management devises, medical equipment, energy
storage or semiconductors - which alone is
estimated to be almost a half-trillion-dollar industry,
noting that the demand for diamond substrate
specifically would theoretically only be a fraction
of the total market size.
The market size of these applications far exceeds
that of jewellery, and the end-user is much more
likely to be indiscriminate about whether the
diamond is manufactured or natural.
With industrial applications for diamond, the
lower-price option will theoretically win out as
long as performance is comparable.
With diamond jewellery, as is the case with luxury more
generally, the consumer rational for purchase is not
nearly as practical and is often influenced by more
intuitive factors such as emotion or an affinity for rarity.
PAUL ZIMNISKY CFA, is a leading global diamond
industry analyst based in New York. He specialises
in international diamond supply and demand
fundamentals, and the companies operating within
the industry. Visit: paulzimnisky.com
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Reduce customer churn:
5 ways to understand at-risk customers
Oddly enough, customers who are close to ‘leaving’ your business can be very valuable,
but only if you know how to recognise them. JEANNIE WALTERS reports.
Nobody thinks they’re neglecting
customers, nevertheless many do. Some
of us live, breathe and constantly think
about the customer experience. But most
businesspeople, believe it or not, don’t
spend their time that way.
Unfortunately, business leaders have not
been trained, educated, or even asked to
consider customer experience. Traditional
business education, and even standard
business plans, don’t focus on the
customer’s total interaction or ‘journey’
beyond the basics of getting the sale and
delivering a product or service.
Think of a customer journey as a detailed
map that shows the full experience a person
has when dealing with your business.
Many customer journey maps can neglect
key phases of the customer experience.
They are sometimes focused on the ideal
scenarios where issues don’t happen:
All customers are happy, all products are
delivered on time, and there’s no need for
customer service to resolve complaints.
One of the questions I love to ask business
owners and managers who are exploring
customer experience is how much they
know about their ‘at-risk’ customers.
For example, do you know who your atrisk
customers are, where they are in the
journey, and to where they might drift? The
answer I tend to get from people who aren’t
succeeding at customer experience is a
blank stare and maybe a shrug.
The relationship between a brand or retail
store and its customers is like any other
relationship. There is often a love story in
the beginning, and then throughout the
relationship, the love and even loyalty can
wane and drift. That’s human nature.
Neglect is an emotion that is more powerful
at driving human behavior than we think.
A research study published by the
International Journal of Applied Business
and Economic Research identified four
antecedents to customer loyalty. They were
defined as satisfaction, commitment, trust
and image. All of these factors require
attention and intention. Neglect is the
antithesis to each.
And yet business leaders are often asked to
focus on customers-yet-to-be, those they
don’t have; all too often heavy emphasis
(along with financial incentives) is placed on
acquiring new customers. Once customers
become great customers, there might be an
emphasis on customer advocacy programs
or customer loyalty initiatives.
Those are important parts of the customer
journey, but the overlooked opportunities
may lie in the customers who are drifting
away from the brand due to neglect. They
don’t get attention and they usually don’t
make a fuss. They just leave.
Leaders need to challenge their staff to
consider those quiet, but almost-gone,
customers. They are the ‘at-risk’ customers.
used to lump
and ‘the rest of
Most businesses used to lump customers
into two simple categories: New customers
and ‘the rest of them’. New customer
acquisition is often used to gauge success –
the more we gain, the better we’re doing!
And what about ‘the rest of them’? They’re
all getting automatically e-charged and
they seem happy because they’re not
complaining. This is how we get lulled into
thinking everything is working well.
But meanwhile, we have at-risk customers
who are ready and willing to defect to
competitors when the right opportunity
Who are your at-risk customers?
Before you can develop a strategy around
at-risk customers, you first need to identify
them. These are customers who are not
happy or just have a ‘meh’ attitude about
what your brand does for them. Not since
they were shiny new customers have they
felt cared for.
At-risk customers don’t have a strong
opinion about what you think are the best
features of your product or service. They
may have had one bad experience with your
staff and decided that was enough to open
the door to consider switching. Or maybe
they have been trying to share feedback, but
don’t feel heard.
If you don’t know who this group is, here are
a few ways to identify these customers:
• Evaluate sales data and investigate the
50 | December 2021
customer journey for those who didn’t
buy. Did they seek support at similar
times or stop engaging with the store or
• Review milestones along the customer
journey. Is a customer more likely to drift
away after one year, two years, or after
a significant change in their life or in the
way they interact with the store?
• Turn complaints into opportunities to
listen for what the customers who don’t
complain may want to say. It’s often
thought that one loud complainer may
be speaking up on behalf of many, many
Now that you have identified your at-risk
customers, it’s time to take action to not
only stop them from leaving but also keep
them truly engaged with your brand.
Understanding at-risk customers
You may not be able to stop all of your atrisk
customers from leaving you, but you
can learn a lot about how to avoid putting
future customer relationships at risk!
1. Identify what happens when a
customer defects: Every company has
some hard-to-forget stories about those
customers who left for your competitors.
Have a place to capture those stories.
Share them as part of your customer
experience updates. Don’t shy away from
those painful discussions. Embrace them!
Find out if there are common themes
among those who left. Determine if there
is a moment in your business relationship
when they are most likely to leave. Those
moments are sometimes more tied to the
customer’s life events like moving, buying
a house, or needing different options.
Customer interviews can be helpful here
in discovering those moments.
Look for trend lines with product
renewals versus cancels or those who
leave after X number of months or years.
This type of data will offer some insight
into where to prioritise efforts to keep
those customers from drifting away!
2. Set up alerts to get more details: If one
of the identifiers is a customer who has
only bought on a single occasion, then
dealing with that is imperative.
Set up triggers at intervals throughout
during or after the purchase process to
ascertain if that customer needs support.
Ask for input – don’t just offer training
or webinars that are solely productcentered.
Ask for what might be missing.
Those post-event surveys can also be a
great place to look for what customers
are missing. Are they asking for followup
communication or training and not
getting it? Time to set up more processes
to close the loop with those customers.
3. Know the ideal customer journey:
Know it, understand it, and watch for
ways to support it.
Your best customers probably use your
store more often than those who will
leave. If you know what the ideal journey
looks like through customer journey
mapping, then it will stand out when your
customers veer away from the ideal and
lapse into not relying on your brand.
Product usage is a great indicator of
customer engagement. But some
products, like a savings account at a bank,
don’t require active usage. Get proactive
about how to engage with customers who
might receive statements or invoices but
That bank savings account customer
might be interested in financial education,
or not. Others might be motivated
by gamification. Engagement varies
based on the industry and relationship
– especially for jewellery retailers - but
neglect still feels like neglect. A little
attention and intention in the customer
journey can go a long way.
4. Don’t be afraid of the exit interview:
‘You win some, you lose some’, seems to
be how many organisations avoid thinking
about at-risk customers. “We’re not for
everyone,” some businesses will say.
The best retailers never shrug this
off as insignificant. Seek feedback
when a customer leaves. Ask the hard
questions about why they left and who
ended up serving their needs. Use that
information to inform your roadmap for
Listen for what
want to say
Don’t be afraid
of the ‘exit
when you lose a
Make sure you
5. Treat former customers like friends,
not enemies: Without a plan for atrisk
customers, stores lump former
customers back into the 'prospect'
category. This means those who
had relationships started receiving
communications as if they didn’t.
Even after years of loyalty, the customer who
leaves might receive an email offering new
customers a special promotion, sign-up
deal, or an email explaining why the service
is so great, which the customer obviously
thinks differently about now that they’ve left.
It can be offensive to a loyal customer who
suddenly is treated like a stranger. We have
to do better than sending promotions and
offers to them as if they have no idea what
it’s like to be a customer.
Address these customers as who they are.
They know your store or brand, they were a
customer, and now it’s time to stay in touch.
Staying in touch doesn’t mean just sending
promotional or sales offers. It can mean
closing the loop with them even after they’ve
left the organization.
One technology provider sent an email to
former customers who had requested a
certain feature once the feature was rolled
out. Instead of an offer, it was a letter from
one of the product designers thanking them
for the input and sharing their success
with the former customer directly. That
led to a lot of personal replies and former
customers coming back to a brand that no
longer was neglecting them.
This may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t
have to be done at once. I challenge you
to pick one of these five methods to try
implementing first. Then add more as you
can over time.
At-risk customers are still customers, for
now. Instead of hoping, they don’t leave,
why not learn from them instead? What you
learn can help them - and future customers
like them - stick around instead of drifting.
JEANNIE WALTERS is founder and
CEO of Experience Investigators. Learn
December 2021 | 51
How to run a successful sales training session
Jewellers know they have to invest in stock, shop fit-outs, advertising and promotion however,
DAVID BROWN says investing in staff training is often overlooked.
Staff sales training has almost become
a cliché in business. Everyone knows
they should do it but finding the time, or
knowing how, can be part of the problem.
3. Rotate the leader of the sessions,
enabling staff to take ownership of
researching about the product or
Further, 50 per cent of sales managers
say they can’t put the effort into it that they
know it deserves.
4. Role-play at the end of the
presentation so staff can show their
understanding of your expectation.
Sadly sales skills can wear off over time,
like an exercise class or a good shower!
Research shows that 84 per cent of all
training is forgotten or lost after 90 days.
Given the investment in time and energy
this may make it seem pointless, but
further analysis has shown that every
dollar invested into sales training can yield
up to $29 in results, and staff can improve
their performance by up to 20 per cent with
the benefits of sales training.
Few other areas of a business can offer
this sort of return. If you’re serious about
increasing the success of your store you
need to be serious about sales training.
So how does sales training make a
difference to results?
• A higher percentage of salespeople
will achieve budget. A well-trained sales
force is more likely to achieve their
budgets than those who aren’t.
Research company CSO Insights
discovered that budgets were 8 per
cent more likely to be achieved by
salespeople in an organisation where
effective sales training was in place.
• It helps with improving conversion
Companies that conducted training
programs that were deemed effective
were also inclined to increase their
sales conversion rate by 30 per cent
compared to those companies where
staff believed sales training failed to
• It helps meet customers needs and
expectations. Salespeople who have
been adequately trained are much more
likely to meet customer’s expectations
and to make suggestions that more
Encourage interaction of staff about the topic.
suitably meets the customer’s needs
than those without good sales training.
This obviously converts into better sales
• And one of the best outcomes is that it
creates lower staff turnover rates.
Research has shown that companies
with strong sales training have greater
customer retention, in some cases almost
double that achieved by companies who
do little in the way of training, or whose
training is considered inadequate.
So how do you make sure your sales
training is effective? Here are seven steps
that can help you get better results from
an effective training program.
1. What is your objective with the
training session? It could be to know
the ‘story’ of a new product line, to
understand the benefits of 18ct, different
Whatever the purpose, ideally by the
end of your training session, all of the
staff attending will be able to achieve the
objective you have set.
2. Encourage interaction of staff about
the topic but don’t let them take the
session in another direction.
If a staff member interrupts with a topic
not relevant to the training, let them
know you will chat to them about this
after the session.
in good sales
will also see a
5. Add a questionnaire at different times
to reward staff that are listening and
remembering the content.
6. Go back to your objective to check you
achieved your sales training goal.
7. Ask for feedback from your team to
ensure you are adding value to their
performance and productivity.
Training staff may seem like the first step
in the process but often having an effective
sales training policy can begin with
‘training the trainer’.
Retailers that also invest in good sales
coaching training programs for their
trainers will also see a much stronger
correlation between their training
efforts and sales increases with budget
Staff training is a business investment
every bit as significant as stock and plant.
Neglecting this area is a false economy
that will restrict your business
performance now and into the future. In
the same way that giving up on the gym will
ultimately lead to poor health and other
complications, giving up on sales training
will lead your business towards illness and
less healthy profitability.
Make a decision that you are willing
to commit a portion of your time and
expenditure to this important area of your
business and enjoy the rewards that it can
DAVID BROWN is co-founder
and business mentor with Retail
Edge Consultants. Learn more:
52 | December 2021
The global pandemic: What buyers discovered
Selling and buying are easy, right? It’s gone on for millennia, but have we
just witnessed the greatest change ever? DAVID BROCK thinks so!
The global COVID-19 pandemic has forced
businesspeople to rethink our work and
how we interact with our customers.
We’ve seen customers reduce spending.
One of the largest adjustments we have
had to make is so-called, ’virtual selling’.
With the inability to travel or actually meet
face-to-face, we had to find a new method
for engaging our customers.
There have been some interesting results
from this. We’ve learned that reducing
travel frees us to spend more time actually
‘meeting’ with customers. We can be
more efficient, if not more productive. This
creates both opportunities and threats.
As leaders, we’ve seen challenges our staff
face in feeling connected and engaged.
Since they aren’t coming into the office,
much of the informal communication that
is fundamental to how organisations work
wasn’t happening. Therefore, we had to
invent new ways to keep staff connected
and engaged, whether more frequent
check-ins or one-on-ones, virtual cocktail
parties, or other things.
Many of these adjustments to the
workplace were probably inevitable but
accelerated because of the pandemic.
Some have been created just to survive.
We will eventually revert to some of the
things we did before COVID, abandoning
some of things that we were ‘forced’ upon
us. We will most likely continue some of
the new practices and behaviours – there’s
a lot of talk about the power combo of
face-to-face and virtual because some
organisations have discovered profound
things that re-shaped how they sell.
The pandemic and the slow emergence
from its restrictions have, perhaps, created
discussions around the future of selling.
There is increased attention to what we
might do differently, how we sell differently,
perhaps even more effectively.
But I’ve had a very uncomfortable feeling in
all these discussions.
For example, where’s the customer, other
than being the recipient of these new
The future of sales should be driven by the buyer, not the seller.
practices we are inflicting on them? What
has the customer learned and how did the
pandemic force them to change?
You see, what is often forgotten is that
customers were also forced to make
changes to their lives during, no different
to how many of their markets changed,
which in turn faced severe shifts in
demand, supply chain problems, and
challenges to their own ability to work
New problems arose - some unique to
the pandemic and some that had always
existed but became more prominent and
Just as businesses had to create new ways
of selling and interacting with customers,
the customer had to figure out new ways
of buying. Many sellers might respond,
“Isn’t that just the mirror image of what
we are doing?” and that might lead one to
conclude, “The future of buying is virtual!”
I suspect that’s because much of the
selling paradigm is built around the
‘meeting’. We have always thought in terms
of a seller interacting directly with a buyer.
Whether it’s face-to-face, phone, social
platforms, or virtual; our paradigm has
always been around in-person meetings.
However, buyers are solving their
challenges differently from how sellers
want to solve the same issue. The
‘meeting’ is not the cornerstone to how
and the slow
future of selling.
they solve their buying problem, instead;
they learn through other sources – online
and offline, through colleagues and others.
In other words, the ‘meeting’ may no
longer be core to their learning/buying
Sellers and marketers have been
fascinated with the application and
misapplication of technology to engage
prospects and customers, however; the
application of technology isn’t the exclusive
discovery of sellers and marketers. Buyers
are learning how to apply technology, AI/
ML to help them search, filter, and more
The interesting thing is that buying hasn’t
become easier; in fact, there is a lot of
research that indicates buying has become
It’s never been easy to navigate a complex
buying journey. Customers often don’t
know how to buy; they struggle with
aligning the ever-increasing ‘buying team’
among many things.
And it’s getting even more difficult for
consumers! Their tools and the new digital
buying journey add greater complexity.
Whereas in the past, they may have
struggled with getting the information
they needed, now they struggle with the
abundance of high-quality information.
Consumers struggle with determining
what’s most relevant to their situation.
So while buying has changed profoundly
throughout the pandemic, the strange
disconnect is that we don’t hear buyers
talking about virtual meetings as their big
change, while that’s been the big change
Somehow it seems the gap between how
buyers buy and how we sell is increasing,
DAVID BROCK is CEO of Partners
In Excellence, a global consultancy
focused on helping organisations
engage customers more effectively. He
writes at: partnersinexcellenceblog.com
December 2021 | 53
Marketing & PR
The dirty little secret your data isn’t telling you
Market research and data can tell us a great deal. However, TOM MARTIN believes one
of the most important things is the ‘why’; and that’s something best left to humans.
Steve Jobs once said, “People don’t know
what they want until you show it to them.
Our task is to read things that are not yet
on the page.” God, I love that quote!
It should be hung in the office of every
product designer, software engineer
and marketing executive in the world.
We’d have many more cool products that
we never knew we needed but can’t live
without because of people like Steve Jobs.
And that’s the power of intuition, empathy,
insight … you know, the soft skills that
truly separate great marketing strategists,
product designers and business people
from the rest of the pack.
So why don’t they all have the skill? I’m
sure there are many opinions on the
subject but for me, I think the answer
is simple: Fear!
Fear kills great ideas
Like it or not, there are people in the world
such as Steve Jobs or that other famous
advertising ‘shaman’ Don Draper, the
fictional character from the tv series,
Mad Men. These people have an uncanny
ability to see inside the hearts and minds
of the customers they serve.
They don’t need proof or data… they have
a sixth sense and the willingness to be
wrong; remember the Apple Newton?
Everyone else fears failure, but true
entrepreneurs need to predict the future,
develop new products and services, or
advertising campaigns. So what do they
do? They trust the data.
They look at all kinds of data from social
media engagement data, website traffic
data, research data, etc. It’s data, data,
data; they believe that if they just consume
or study enough data the brilliant insight,
the game-changing idea, the next big thing
will appear like when John Nash cracks
the code in the movie A Brilliant Mind.
However, the fact is that data, if tortured
long enough data can be made to ‘prove’
almost anything. Trust me; I’ve tortured
and watched others torture enough data to
Pst...Everyone fears failure, but true entrepreneurs predict the future.
know the truth of which I type.
But there is another big blind spot within
your data that far too many a marketing
strategist misses: Data only tells you
The data wonks will have you believe that
data tells you the entire story, however;
it’s historical. Fortunately for fans of
stories, these people are so busy with their
spreadsheets that they don’t have time to
create literary works for our consumption
because their stories would stink.
Great stories answer five key questions in
the mind of the reader: Who, what, where,
when, and why.
And therein lies the problem. Data only
answers the first four questions.
Your data will tell you what someone did,
clicked on, bought, etc., but it won’t tell
Why, at least in marketing, is almost
always the exclusive domain of the
marketing strategist. At best, data can
show you patterns, but at the end of the
day, you’ll need a talented marketing
strategist to figure out the ‘why’ behind
You need to predict a why because it
doesn’t yet exist… at least not in the data.
It’s true that data+insight=brilliant
marketing, but buyer beware!
The Mac wasn’t
the first desktop
the first digital
wasn’t the first
rarely, if ever,
was first to any
Where are today’s great marketing
strategists such as Steve Jobs? They
are few and far between.
Precious few people in the world of
marketing are fluent in research and
data analysis, digital marketing, and
traditional marketing and also have the
ability to craft a Vulcan Mind Meld with
your prospective customer.
So if you want to truly exploit the power
of data, then go find a modern-day Jobs
and the fictional Draper. Give them a test
drive or two because even a blind squirrel
can find a nut once.
Probe to see how intuitive they are, just
because they have a PhD in Applied
Mathematics does not mean they
can identify and empathise with your
target audience. They’ll give you lots of
information but precious little insight.
And brilliant insight, that’s where the
margin lies. The Mac wasn’t the first
desktop computer. The iPod wasn’t the
first digital media player. The iPhone
wasn’t the first smartphone. Heck, Jobs
rarely, if ever, was first to any category.
Instead, he watched the data but more
importantly, he watched the consumer.
He saw what was there, and he intuited
what wasn’t there. And that was often the
need the consumer didn’t even know they
had until Jobs and Apple filled it.
The list goes on; think Tesla with super
smart, stylish, and powerful electric cars
or Fireball with its Cinnamon Whisky.
Or what about Sonos with great-sounding,
wireless speakers that can replace or
even eliminate the need for built-in wholehome
music systems or more recently
Peloton with high-energy, cost-efficient,
fun at-home workouts.
TOM MARTIN is the founder of
Converse Digital, a sales and marketing
agency. He is also a keynote speaker
and author of The Invisible Sale.
54 | December 2021
The truth about social media algorithms
Is social media working for your business? Could it be better?
SIMON DELL goes back to basics to help you improve your online strategy.
Many of us have heard the term ‘social
media algorithms', and depending on how
much time you spend on social media,
you’ve probably noticed changes in your
Many may have even seen Adam Mosseri-
Instagram CEO – announce the changes
to the Instagram algorithm. But what does
that mean for consumers, businesses, and,
of course, marketers?
For better or worse, social media
platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn,
Twitter, and Instagram regularly change
their algorithms to reinvent how you
Remember when Facebook just showed
you everything, with the most recent posts
at the top? Those days are long gone;
with social media platforms having more
control of the content users can see.
So, here’s the truth about social media
algorithms and how they affect businesses
What are social media algorithms?
Essentially, social media algorithms are
simply a way to sort which posts you see
For example, your typical news feed used
to be in reverse-chronological order, so the
most recent posts were at the top. Now,
the methods are more complex and based
on artificial intelligence and machine
At the same time, you can still choose
to view your most recent posts first. But
the default setting is to be shown posts
according to the platform’s algorithm.
It’s all about creating a better user
Social networks want you to have a
better experience so they can sell more
advertising at a higher price. And that’s
truly why algorithms exist.
How do social media algorithms work?
Every social network is different, but these
algorithms aim to give social media users
Don't be confused by the purpose of social media algorithms.
faster access to relevant content. The
algorithm will often consider relevancy,
shares, likes, retweets, user’s feed, types
of content, and quality content.
For example, a high-quality piece of
content that is on-trend will have more
chances of appearing on a user’s feed.
However, most of this is based on your
own behaviour on the platform. For
example, you may see posts from people
you interact with the most. So if you search
for a lot of music-related content, you’ll
see more music-related posts.
Using these metrics, the algorithm has
a higher chance of showing users the
content they will likely interact with by
sharing, commenting on or becoming a
subscriber; these will, in turn, keep them
on the platform.
The issue for businesses and marketers is
that the algorithm changes frequently, and
the networks aren’t terribly transparent.
However, they often give out snippets of
advice along the way, so good marketers
can keep up with what works best for their
Facebook’s algorithm, for example, seems
to be moving away from content that is too
explicitly sales-based, focusing more on
relevant conversations. And why wouldn’t
they? They want businesses to pay to
advertise, not do it for free using the right
want you to
have a better
so they can
advertising at a
Algorithms for advertising
The same principles apply to all social
media advertising. For example, the whole
basis of Facebook’s advertising program is
that you should, in theory, be able to reach
the right people at the right time.
Therefore, it delivers sponsored content
and social media ads according to
your browsing history and other online
The problem is, the social media
algorithms are never perfect. So, if you try
to manage Facebook advertising yourself,
you get nice easy options to let Facebook
choose your target audience and market
accordingly. This is great; however, you
don’t get the particular insight to your
audience that a marketing professional
The ‘fresh content’ illusion
Social media algorithms also work to keep
Psychologically, if you keep seeing the
same posts because you don’t follow many
accounts, you think there’s nothing new,
and you’ll check less frequently.
A solid social media marketing strategy
will help you switch it up, so every time
your users open the app, it feels fresh and
This ‘new news feed’ experience also
allows the social media companies to
rotate more ads (impressions) through
your user’s feed, which looks good when
selling advertising to businesses. .
It is important to understand how these
social media algorithms help you optimise
your social media marketing strategy and
deliver better results for you.
SIMON DELL is co-founder and CEO
of Cemoh, a Brisbane-based firm that
provides marketing staff on demand.
He specialises in digital marketing and
brand management. Visit: cemoh.com
December 2021 | 55
COSIMO. Sydney NSW
Age 37 Years in Trade 16 • Training Certificate III in jewellery trade and manufacturing at Enmore Design Centre. First job Diamond Factory Jewellers Chatswood
• Other Qualifications Bachelor of business
HAND MADE 18 CT BLACK AND
WHITE DIAMOND ENCRUSTED CROSS
Hand made 18ct white gold, black and white diamond
pavé encrusted cross. This piece was carefully crafted for
a very special client who wanted a point of difference and
to last the test of time. This cross is solid and bold, yet
subtle with beautifully curved edges.
Design is never compensated when making high quality
4FAVOURITE GEMSTONE Pink Argyle Diamonds.
They are one of rarest diamonds in the world and
are sourced ethically and responsibly in Western
Australia. I love how luxurious and grand it makes
our clients feel when creating custom pieces.
4FAVOURITE METAL Platinum of course! If
the metal is meticulously worked with the right
processes, you will have a high lustre crisp finish.
4FAVOURITE TOOL Digital calipers! I love the
accuracy it gives me during manufacturing.
4BEST NEW TOOL DISCOVERY I find that I can
alter my current tools for multiple uses such as
using my flat nose pliers to hold the post of the
earring while polishing instead of using earring
4BEST PART OF THE JOB The best part of the job
is the creative process to incorporate your clients'
vision into reality.
4WORST PART OF THE JOB I love it all! The
deadlines, the pressure, it’s all part of what pushes
me to achieve perfection.
4BEST TIP FROM A JEWELLER Always check your
work before handing it over to a customer.
4BEST TIP TO A JEWELLER Don’t be afraid of
learning and trying something new. All the skills
I have learned are from trial and error.
4BIGGEST HEALTH CONCERN ON THE BENCH
Breathing in chemicals is a big one for me. I try to
use non-toxic chemicals where possible and drink
plenty of water.
4LOVE JEWELLERY BECAUSE I love jewellery as
it gives me the chance to express my creativity that
is inspired by the stories of my clients.
56 | December 2021
Is responsible sourcing good for
the people it seeks to protect?
Politicians, the media, and various organisations tell us every day to think
about acting responsibly, however; HUGH BROWN asks: what does that mean?
Responsible sourcing. Ethical sourcing.
Sustainable sourcing. These are examples
of the many buzzwords that are currently
There has been swathes of legislation and
due diligence guidance issued by various
organisations and governments.
An entire, new consulting and compliance
industry has not only emerged but has
become ‘massive’. And this means, at
last, consumers can exert influence on the
decisions of the world’s largest companies.
But what do these buzzwords mean, and are
they even worthwhile? What considerations
go into making up the meaning of these
terms and why are they even relevant to you,
as a colour gemstones buyer?
The question is relevant to you because
around 80 per cent of all mined gemstones
is carried out by artisanal miners who dig
and unearth the product with minimal or no
mechanised aids. Very often gemstones are
mined using nothing more than an airleg
drill, picks and shovels, and sometimes a
Therefore it’s these very people that are
primarily ‘in the gun’ when the term
‘responsible’ is used because the remaining
20 per cent of gemstones are mined by
international companies using large-scale
Unfortunately when broad-brush buzzwords
like ‘responsible’ and/or ‘sustainable’ are
used, typically it conjures thoughts of things
such as child labour, poor safety practices,
environmental damage, and human
trafficking. Organised crime and extremist
groups also often come to mind.
And what all of this ignores are the nuances
in terms such as responsible and ethical
To us, with our First World - mostly wealthy
(comparatively) - frame of reference the idea
of children working in, dangerous mines
sounds bad. Not to mention the fact that
when we were young, most of us had jobs.
My first job was mowing lawns when I was
only five years old.
These days that’s something many
would probably categorise as handling a
dangerous piece of machinery! However,
what people in the developed world do not
understand about the developing world is
that children are a de facto superannuation
scheme for their parents.
That is, if the kids don’t work then the kids,
and quite often the family, don’t eat. Not to
mention the fact that there would simply be
no chance for those kids to venture off to
school to study to be a surgeon.
Another ‘complaint’ that gets wheeled out is
that of poor safety. True!
Safety practices are often deficient, however;
it’s amazing what a person will do if they
see an opportunity for them self and their
family to get ahead. Though I will add that
it’s amazing how much commonsense
and awareness there seems to be among
ASM workers compared to so many of the
institutionalised, let others think for you,
large-scale mining workers wearing
fluoro vests, steel-capped boots and doing a
84-hour week grind.
It’s no different from what goes on for us
in the so-called, 'First World'. How many
people do you know sacrificing the lives they
could be living now for the prospect of better
lives for themselves and family in the future?
For example, the people working as fly-infly-out
miners, labourers, or the 80-hour
week office workers. Most are doing jobs
that they hate for the prospect of better lives.
Miners in the Third World are merely
versions of we in the First World; doing
the best they can for themselves and their
families. We are all ‘miners’ at heart!
Unfortunately, it seems the solution put
forward most frequently is that we must
abandon sourcing from ASM workers in
the Third World with these, so-called, poor
things such as
mining practices and shift to supply chains
that incorporate practices that better align
with our experiences in the First World.
Which – wink, wink, nudge, nudge - more
often than not means the shifting of
sourcing to mines that just happen to be
controlled by the large-scale miners.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the space here to
flesh out the definitions of business jargon
like responsible, ethical, or sustainable,
other than to say there are so many
variables that affect these terms that they
become utterly meaningless and are at
the whim of the consultants signing off the
documents on the supply chains they have
been asked to certify.
The terms are subjective - not objective
– and are incapable of a meaningful and
consistent definition or application.
They are no more than buzzwords
and marketing jargon that benefit the
bottom lines and balance sheets of the
world’s major brands. They can, and do,
marginalise and diminish even further the
efforts of the world’s poorest people who
continue their struggle to survive.
So when you need to buy that next beautiful
colour gemstone I urge you to carefully
consider mentions of Responsible or Ethical
Sourcing and think instead about which
option might best offer the opportunity for
those in the world’s poorest countries a
chance to improve their lives.
Would that not be far more ‘responsible’
than simply purchasing a gemstone mined
by an international mining conglomerate?
Name: Hugh Brown
Business: Gemstone Mining
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Years in the industry: 30
58 | December 2021
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