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We began a discussion through our post here (published on 10/11/2015) whether the natural diamonds are really rare or its scarcity is created by cartel of mining companies? Here is the URL for those who may have missed the article


Miners don’t dictate terms now
Miners don’t dictate terms now


We tried to contact the heads of some mining companies including De Beers but we did not get any feedback from them on the above question. But some leaders assertively responded to our queries. Let’s see what they feel about it.


Are natural diamonds really rare or its production exceeds today's demand?

President of Moscow Diamond Bourse and Chairman of the World Diamond Mark Mr. Alex Popov says, “Indeed the production today exceeds demand for certain categories of diamonds. On the other hand, some sizes and colors are very rare and their prices go up constantly. One has only to look on the recent auction results. The industry faces two choices - to increase demand with clever generic promotion, or to close manufacturing of unprofitable items. Most probably we should do both.”


Responding to this question, Vice President of the Panama Diamond Exchange (PDE) Ms. Ali Pastorini says, “I too, read the recent reports of the John Hopkins University study that diamond formation in the very deep Earth may be a more common process than earlier was thought. But what the study never suggested was that there may more viable deposits of gem-quality diamonds than we earlier would have expected.”


“The John Hopkins study spoke of geological processes taking place 150 to 200 kilometers below the Earth's surface, whereas the deepest drilling exploration ever made was less than 14 kilometers below the surface, and diamond mines are typically not much more than half a kilometer deep.”


“In fact, all reliable research shows that the rate of growth in the supply of natural diamonds is lower that the growth in consumer demand for diamond jewelry. Bain & Co. earlier forecast that demand for polished diamonds will expand by 6.4 percent in terms of value annually over the next decade, with rough diamond supply only growing at a compound annual rate of 2.0 percent globally, and possibly plateauing after 2020.”


“And just this past September, Goldman Sachs released a report in which it stated that, from 2017, it expects to a see an acceleration of the trend of demand outstripping supply. This, Goldman Sachs said, will be underpinned by the completion of mining projects currently under development, after which there will no significant increment in supply in the absence of new large-scale deposit discoveries.”


“And, even if there is a significant diamond find, let us not forget that it takes about eight years from the time that a deposit is discovered to the point that it comes on line.”


Independent gems & jewellery consultant since more than a decade and Quality Assurance Inspector at Zale Corporation since last 9 years, Mr. Sunil Shukla says, “Rough Diamonds are not rare but it's production is controlled by mining companies so that polished diamonds can be sold at good rate and they can get good returns on that.”


We further asked them: Is there any cartel of diamond mining companies, which has been creating artificial scarcity of rough by controlling its supply?

Mr. Popov says, “No, there's no cartel whatsoever. Diamond companies are controlled by shareholders who demand return on investment. This in turn makes any cartel unmanageable as the producers have conflicting interests. In a way we see the example of this competition in the recent price reductions.”


Ms. Pastorini comments, “While historically De Beers openly controlled rough diamond supply for close to century, it deliberately relinquished that position starting in the year 2000. It remains one of the larger suppliers to this very day, but in 2015 is unlikely to even be the largest, since it will produce less than Alrosa, both in terms of carats and U.S. dollars. And there are other powerful suppliers out there, like Rio Tinto, Dominion, SODIAM, Petra and others.”


“But not only does the entry of a more players into the rough diamond market preclude the potential of a cartel controlling supply and prices, so does the way in which diamonds are sold. The days in which De Beers or others can oblige the clients to buy exactly what they are offered are long gone. As we have seen just over the past several months, diamond trading and manufacturing companies are prepared leave goods lying on the table. Once upon a time that simply would not have happened.”


“Rough diamonds increasingly are sold on tender, where the market dictates demand and prices. This, too, suggests that there are no cartels at work,” she adds.


Mr. Shukla observes, “There are mining companies (Rio Tinto, Alrosa , De Beers etc.) and they do mining of diamonds and later they are auctioned. But as the demand of polished is less due to many stimulants, diamond manufacturers have reduced polishing rough Diamonds to get the demand of existing stock. So I can say situation right now is reverse.”


The situation may have changed now, as they rightly say so that gone are those days when miners used to dictate their terms.


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Thanksgiving marks the official start of the holiday shopping season.  Although this day is an American holiday there is one thing that should be universal…giving thanks for everything that is good in our lives. We are fortunate to be in an amazing industry with opportunities to grow and prosper at every step.  Here are just a few things to be thankful for.


1.  We get to play with rare stuff

We work with some of the most beautiful and rarest objects on Earth.  We routinely handle things that most people may never get to see and even fewer will be able to own.  Less than 2% of the women in the world will ever possess a 2 carat diamond, yet for many in our industry it is normal inventory.  That places us into an extremely rare group of humans. 


2.  We are surrounded by beauty

We have beauty in our lives on a daily basis.  It may be an exotic coloured gemstone, a well-cut diamond, or an example of the fine art of jewellery design.  We immerse ourselves with beautiful objects and help our customers bring them into their lives.


3. We can share other people’s joy

Our customers come to see us for their important and joyous occasions. We are with them through all of the stages of their lives; engagements, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations…the list goes on.  We not only share their happiness, we add to it by providing symbols of love that will stay with them for generations.


4. We are constantly learning

The jewellery industry requires a vast amount of knowledge.  Jewellery is an important part of history and as sales people we get to share those stories.  We need to be well versed in a variety of arts and sciences.  Gemmologists study minerology, geology, optics, and the scientific process. Bench jewellers know about metallurgy and chemistry.  Designers deal with geometry, art- and now days- computer sciences.  Every aspect of the jewellery industry requires constant learning.


5. We explore the world

Our industry gives us the opportunity to travel to all corners of the planet. Some suppliers are in constant motion, visiting clients throughout their territory.  Most retail jewellers will travel to out of town or out of country trade shows.  Gem dealers often travel to very remote locations in the pursuit of new gems.  For many of us, our passports are our most prized possession.


6.  We are multi-cultural

Our industry knows no borders. We get to meet people from all over the world.  It helps us grown as individuals, teaching us understanding and compassion.  We celebrate all holidays and can share in each other’s customs, food, and lifestyles.  While the rest of the world seems to be dividing and falling apart, we come together bound by our shared passions for gems and jewellery.


So why not take a few moments before we get slammed with our seasonal rush and reflect on why we are thankful to be in this business.  

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A key jewellery trend for spring/summer 2016 will be the long-loved floral motif, with bejewelled blooms bringing colour and drama to fine and fashion designs.


While some jewellery trend inspirations lend a curve here or a suggestive twist there, the floral trend is a very literal one. This is a chance to have fun recreating the contents of a florist’s shop in metal and gemstones, with big blooms in bright colours.


A ring from the Embracing Flowers collection by Palmiero.

A ring from the Embracing Flowers collection by Palmiero.


Colour can be brought into the designs in a number of ways, perhaps through the addition of coloured gemstones, such as the pink sapphires used to edge Fei Liu’s Orchid Flower ring, or enamel, as used by Shaun Leane to bring the flowers on his Cherry Blossom designs to life. Finnish jewellery maker Kalevala Jewelry has used stained glass to trap the image of flowers inside silver jewels for its My Millefiori collection.

Fei Liu uses pink sapphires to bring colour to his Orchid Flower ring.
Fei Liu uses pink sapphires to bring colour to his Orchid Flower ring.
The clean white petals of the Cherry Blossom are brought to life in enamel by Shaun Leane. Kavela Jewelry has used a technique called Millefiori to trap the image of flowers within glass.
The clean white petals of the Cherry Blossom are brought to life in enamel by Shaun Leane. Kavela Jewelry has used a technique called Millefiori to trap the image of flowers within glass.


Texture and volume will further bring bejewelled blooms to life. Flora Bhattachary has achieved both with her Jyamiti ring that has a floral design created by hand-carving a hunk of amethyst, while VanLeles’ floral earrings stack individual 3D flower shapes together to create a lively loop of pink flowers.

Flora Bhattachary carved a flower out of amethyst for her Jyamiti ring. These precious earrings by VanLeles have a wonderful 3D effect.
Flora Bhattachary carved a flower out of amethyst for her Jyamiti ring. These precious earrings by VanLeles have a wonderful 3D effect.


Global jewellery trend analysis service Adorn Insight noted the importance of floral jewels in the coming seasons at a presentation given at London trade show IJL: “Big, bold blooms burst in a riot of colour, and texture with acid green orchids and supersized irises. Create an impression of volume, with gently rippling edges and undulating surfaces, perfect for leaf and petal-based looks. Explore colour in the form of pavé gemstones in graduated hues, enamel embellishment, mixed golds and even colourful titanium flourishes.”

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US jewellery demand continues to make “creeping gains,” building on the strong base of demand that has been established over the past five years, the World Gold Council recently said.


For the third quarter of 2015, the US experienced a year-over-year growth of 2 percent to 26.2 tons, according to the WGC’s quarterly Gold Demand Trends report. Growth in the sector reflects a continued desire for gold in the 10k and 14k gold, “against a hesitant economic recovery.”


In an even brighter spot the report notes that imports of gold outpaced demand as retailers are shoring up their inventories for the upcoming holiday season.


The growth in gold jewellery has been consistent in the US in 2015 with a 2 percent increase in the second quarter of the year and a 4 percent increase in the first quarter.


The US is the third largest market for gold jewellery however it lags far behind the two largest markets, China and India.


Meanwhile, Gold jewellery demand in Europe fell 1 percent as demand was stagnant across most markets, according to the report. Exceptions were France where gold jewellery demand declined 6 percent and Spain where demand grew 5 percent.


Global demand for gold jewellery grew 6 percent year-over-year in the third quarter of 2015 to reach 631.9 tons, marking the strongest third quarter for jewellery demand since 2008, according to the WGC. This compares with a 14 percent decline in demand for the second quarter of 2015.


Lower prices for gold in July and August attracted consumers to buy gold jewellery, according to the WGC report. This is in strong contrast with a 14 percent decline in global gold jewellery demand in the second quarter.


On a year-to-date basis, jewellery demand amounted to 1,750.2 tons, 3 percent behind the pace of the same period of the prior year.


In India, the world’s second largest gold jewellery market, lower prices led to a third quarter demand increase of 15 percent year-over-year in to 211.1 tons. This compares with a 23 percent decline in the second quarter of 2015.


In China, the world’s largest gold jewellery market, lower prices and strong Valentine’s Day sales lifted consumer consumption in the third quarter as gold jewellery demand grew a modest 4 percent, year-over-year, to 187.6 tons.


Meanwhile, jewellery demand in Hong Kong grew 22 percent to 13.7 tons, primarily due to higher-design, unique pieces, popular with mainland Chinese tourists.


Other markets are as follows:

* East Asia - Jewellery demand made double-digit gains in Indonesia, South Korea and Vietnam, assisted by the falling price, while demand in Singapore and Malaysia declined by 24 percent and 10 percent, respectively.


* Turkey - Demand fell 29 percent year-over-year to 12.1 tons, the lowest third quarter ever, according to WGC records, due to “political instability and the rising threat of terrorist attacks.”


* Middle East - Minor gains in Saudi Arabia and Egypt cancelled out slight declines in Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and other Gulf countries, WGC said. The exception was Iran, where jewellery demand rallied by 40 percent to almost two-year highs “boosted by the signing of the nuclear deal.” 


Gold butterflies by Alex Soldier


Various gold rings by Alex Soldier
Various gold rings by Alex Soldier

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Contact information is perhaps the most important part of marketing or advertising.  Without a way for a customer to take action, all of your efforts are for nothing.  Yet surprisingly, this is one area that often is overlooked.


About 30 years ago a company had one of the most brilliant advertising concepts that became one of a total failure.  I don’t remember the company’s name or what they sold.  It may have been jewellery findings.  They took an expensive full page ad in a national magazine targeting amateur lapidaries and jewellery makers.  In the ad they listed phone numbers for some of the most important people in the world; the President of the United States, the Pope, the Queen of England and about a dozen more.  They ended the ad with the phrase: “But when you need jewellery findings, call us.”  However there was one small problem.  Nowhere in the as was a single mention of their phone number!   The ad ran for more than 3 years before they caught the mistake.


Today ease of contact is more important than ever.  Modern consumers live in the moment and want to be able to take action immediately.  If they can’t do it easily they will move on to someone else and you may have lost them forever.



This is an acronym that should be at the top of your mind while doing any marketing.  It stands for: Why Are You Making It So Hard?  If you make it difficult or cumbersome to contact you, they won’t do it.


Almost all websites have a contact page.  Most are simply a listing of phone numbers or email addresses.  That is fine and every website should have it.  Others use complex forms to be filled out that require the customer’s contact information and even some demographics.  The worst may include a security feature like Captcha where you must enter a series of numbers or answer a simple question to prove you area real human being.   The more effort a consumer needs to make, they are less likely to contact you.


In addition to a contact page, your email address and phone number needs to be prominent on every page.  It is best if they are active links so making contact is a one click operation.  This is even more important when viewed on a mobile platform.  Most smartphones can recognise phone numbers and email addresses and initiate instant contact so be sure your information is visible on every page.  You want them to be able to take action when their interest is at its peak. You print ads also need to have clear contact information to include your physical address, website, email and phone number. 


Help them find you

Make it easy for you potential customers to visit your physical location.  Every website and print ad needs to have a map.  Google maps are the easiest to use.  You webmaster should be able make the map into a hot link that will open a smartphone’s GPS mapping app to provide instant directions from their location to yours.  A QR code on you print ad can perform the same function.


Double check it now

Even if you are positive you have you contact info everywhere it needs to be, taking a little time right now to verify it can set your mind at ease.  Check every page of your website on both your desktop and you mobile platforms.  Click on all contact links to be certain they work.  You don’t want to discover problems after the holidays, or even worse, a few years from now.

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