JEWELLERY EDITORIAL

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2015/05/04

The 2nd edition of the Jewellery & Gem Fair – Europe (JGF Europe) concluded successfully on 25 March 2015 at Messe Freiburg, Germany. The fair attracted over 6,500 jewellery professionals from around the world, of which over 4,500 were buyers from 87 countries and regions. The robust attendance confirms growing support for the new fair.

 

 

JGF Europe is positioned as an effective trading platform for mid- to high-end jewellery. We believe that JGF Europe fills the gap in the European trade fair calendar; it gives European buyers the opportunity to source effectively from suppliers from around the world without having to travel to overseas trade shows,” said Mr Wolfram Diener, Senior Vice President, UBM Asia.

 

With the participation of over 4,500 buyers, this shows that JGF Europe addresses a market need.  We are also glad to receive positive feedback from visitors on the exhibitors’ quality, product range and price,” he continued.

 

 

The Top 10 sources of visitors were: Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, China, Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Austria. There were 1,801 buyers from Germany, while Switzerland ranked the second with 309 visitors, up 17.5% compared to last year. The Top 10 visiting countries account for 70% of the total number of visitors.

 

In terms of exhibitors, JGF Europe featured 445 exhibitors from 28 countries and regions in 19,000 sqm of exhibition space. The exhibitors were from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Mauritius, the Netherlands, Poland, Russian Federation, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates and the United States. In addition, nine group pavilions representing Antwerp, ACODES, Germany, Hong Kong, the International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA), Italy, Mauritius, Thailand and the United States offered buyers their market specialties.

 

 

A number of exhibitors pointed out that JGF Europe is a good platform for them to tap into or expand their network in the European market. To attract even more visitors to coming editions, we will offer additional special attractions, including special displays and business seminars for owners of jewellery stores,” added Mr Diener.

 

 

After considering the industry feedback, the fair organiser is happy to announce that the fair dates for the 2016 edition is 19 March (Saturday) to 22 March (Tuesday) at Messe Freiburg, Germany. This arrangement would enable jewellery retailers and goldsmiths to source and replenish inventory during the weekend. “We believe that this will also enable smaller jewellery retailers or jewellers from the peripheral area of Freiburg to have sufficient time to visit the fair,” said Mr Diener.

 

JGF Europe’s second edition in Freiburg was very successful. Many of the exhibitors who participated last year have returned and have indicated to be very happy with the development of the exhibition. They are keen to support the expansion of this European sourcing platform in the upcoming years. Buyers were able to source a wide range of finished jewellery, diamonds, gem stones and many more high quality materials. This year the show opened for the first time on Sunday. This meant that it was very convenient for local jewellery retailers to visit. Next year we will add the Saturday which will allow us to attract even more interested buyers. We are very pleased with the results of JGF Europe 2015 and are looking forward to another successful show next year,” said Mr John van der Valk, Managing Director of UBM EMEA Amsterdam.

 

 

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2015/04/29

The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) recently organized its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Mumbai. This was the first time that the RJC AGM and Conference was held outside Europe. The event is estimated to have achieved a milestone in the organization's sustained efforts in bringing the message of responsible business practices to India - a global leader in diamond and jewellery manufacturing and sales.

 

RJC has made substantial progress in India

RJC has made substantial progress in India

 

The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) and Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) joined the RJC as co-hosts to introduce India’s diamond and jewellery industry to a global audience through this event. While doing so, the GJEPC acknowledged the significance of the RJC in the development and certification of responsible supply chains in India, especially for major export markets.

 

Addressing the Conference, GJEPC Chairman Mr. Vipul Shah said,

“The GJEPC and BDB acknowledge that RJC delivers one of the most effective ways to our members to show they take responsible business practices seriously in order to create confidence with international markets for our products. We are eager to work more closely with the RJC to hasten the progress achieved over the last two years that would further help in promoting RJC membership to our members. This is a primary part of securing the long-term future for an exceptionally successful industry.”

 

The event highlighted how the Indian manufacturing industry has greatly benefited from a global compliance standard like the RJC to realize export market expectations as well as to maintain skilled workers as a way of improving quality and productivity.
 

Executive Director of the GJEPC Mr. Sabyasachi Ray gave the delegates an understanding of India’s gem and jewellery industry and proposed some suggestions so that a larger section of the industry could be associated with the RJC model. Mr. Ray underlined some issues or areas of concern which if addressed, he said,

“would support the RJC in creating a common platform and grow membership and integrate better.”  The areas of concern included aspects like the membership fee which is currently seen as high for many micro and small entrepreneurs. The certification fee is also high and as there are several regulatory procedures which the companies have to follow, the overall cost of compliance is becoming very large.”

 

Mr. Ray suggested that a differential policy based on size should be introduced. He also proposed that the requirements of Legal Compliance and the Audit Process should be displayed on the RJC’s website for greater transparency, so that all companies should clearly know what was expected of them. He also suggested introducing a “level playing field” so that the manufacturers of other countries can also be brought under its ambit.
 

RJC chairman Mr. James Courage said, “India has always remained as a strategic priority for us (the RJC). We express our gratitude to co-hosts GJEPC and BDB, and all the other international and Indian participants without whose participation the event would not have been successful. The RJC is glad that this event has reinforced our relationship with the GJEPC and BDB to work together for the future triumph of the Indian diamond and jewellery industry.”
 

RJC has made substantial progress in India and is devoted to working with Indian industry and institutions to fully integrate with this key market. As a prime goal of its increasing commitment to India, RJC has appointed Kinjal Shah as country head, India.

 


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2015/04/29

There was one more red carpet event this year that slipped in under the radar. It was actually a political event known as the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner.
 

It’s an annual gathering that began 101 years ago as a way for working journalists who cover the White House to acknowledge award-winners, present scholarships, and give the press and the president an evening of friendly appreciation. However, it has grown into an event of glitz and glamour in which celebrity guests, pre-dinner receptions and post-dinner parties have in many ways overshadowed the main dinner, as I witnessed when I attended the event in 1998.

 

Gina Rodriguez wore Harry Kotlar diamond earrings, Harry Kotlar ring and Chimento bracelet.Bethany Mota wore Brumani earrings. 100.20-carat “ultimate” emerald-cut diamond sold for $22 million—one of the few bright spots of the jewellery auction market this spring.
Gina Rodriguez wore Harry Kotlar diamond earrings, Harry Kotlar ring and Chimento bracelet. Bethany Mota wore Brumani earrings. Chanel Iman wore Harry Kotlar diamond earrings and Harry Kotlar bracelet.

 

The main event isn’t too shabby either with the president and his administration the subject of a (usually) friendly roast and then returning the favour by telling a few jokes of his own at the expense of the White House press corps.
 

Washington is known as town in which the majority women in government wear conservative pants suits adorned with a simple white pearl necklace. However, for this event, political leaders, political opinion makers and White House reporters get to rub shoulders with Hollywood’s finest. And wherever Hollywood celebrities gather, even in the centre of political power in the US, there is high fashion.
 

100.20-carat “ultimate” emerald-cut diamond sold for $22 million—one of the few bright spots of the jewellery auction market this spring. 100.20-carat “ultimate” emerald-cut diamond sold for $22 million—one of the few bright spots of the jewellery auction market this spring.
Bethany Mota wore Brumani earrings. Carla Gugino wore
Jewelmer south sea pearl earrings.

 

It didn’t even dawn on me to cover this as a major fashion event until this year. Certainly there were no trends of note to discuss. But it could easily be considered the most elegant affair on the red carpet calendar.
 

I was also a bit surprised at how many jewellery companies took this event seriously as a place to show their best pieces.
 

Forevermark was in the forefront again, adorning no fewer than four guests in their sparkling white diamond, white metals jewellery. The De Beers jewellery brand shows that it’s serious about its push into the US market, which began in a big way almost a year ago.

 

Laverne Cox wore Forevermark by Natalie K Diamond Line Bracelet, Forevermark Diamond Drop Earrings, all in 18k white gold and Forevermark Cluster Shield Ring, in oxidized gold. Jenna Dewan-Tatum wore Casa Reale earrings and Casa Reale ring.

Laverne Cox wore Forevermark by
Natalie K Diamond Line Bracelet,

 

Forevermark Diamond Drop Earrings,
all in 18k white gold

and Forevermark
Cluster Shield Ring, in oxidized gold.

Jenna Dewan-Tatum wore
Casa Reale earrings and Casa Reale ring.

 

Like the Oscars and Golden Globe Awards, white was the overall look of the evening when it came to jewellery. However, diamonds shared the stage with white gems and pearls.

 

Hannah Davis in Arya Esha earrings and rings. Darby Stanchfield wore Forevermark By Pluczenik Integré Double Drop Earrings, Forevermark by Galili and Co. Diamond Line Bracelet, Forevermark by Natalie K Three Row Diamond Bracelet, Forevermark by Natalie K Line Bracelets and Forevermark Oval Swirl Ring, all in 18k white gold.
Hannah Davis in Arya Esha earrings and rings.

Darby Stanchfield wore Forevermark By
Pluczenik Integré Double Drop Earrings,

Forevermark by Galili and Co.
Diamond Line Bracelet, 

Forevermark by Natalie K
Three Row Diamond Bracelet,

Forevermark by Natalie K Line Bracelets and

Forevermark Oval Swirl Ring,
all in 18k white gold.

 

All of the jewels and gowns were appropriate and tasteful as they should be as the president is the guest of honour. One of the few persons showing any flesh was Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, Hannah Davis. She was also one of the few people who chose a bit of colour in her jewellery, wearing long earrings and ring by a brand new jewellery brand, Arya Esha. I need to ask the company’s founder, Priyanka Murthy, how she managed to get her jewels on someone at such high-profile event being so new to the industry.

 

 


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2015/04/28

Spring is here and for many jewellery retailers this is a fairly slow time of the year. Most of the major buying holidays are over and the summer tourist season is still a couple months away. This is a great time to give your business a bit of a spring tune-up.

Spring forward!

Deep cleaning

You’ve probably been putting this off but now this the time for a deep cleaning. Every little smudge or speck of dirt can effect a customer’s impression of your store. First clean the store itself. If you have carpet, call a professional cleaner to make them like new. Check the walls, corners and edges of doorways for dirt or chipped paint. Clean or paint as needed.
 

Move on to your showcases, including your window displays. Take one show case at a time and pull everything out, including display stands and the bottom pad. Sweep out any dirt or dust. Get serious with the bottle of glass cleaner on both the inside and outside. You want your glass to sparkle.
 

While the displays are out of the case, check each one closely. Clean off smudges and fingerprints. Any displays that are frayed or show wear need to be replaced. Look at each piece of jewellery. Does it need a light buffing or a full day in the “spa” for re-polishing and cleaning? Are the tags bent and worn? If so, replace them.

 

Rearrange your displays

As long as your jewellery is out of the case, why not think of new ways to change your displays. Try grouping items by colour. Make up sets of rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces to make it easier for your sales staff to suggest add-on sales.
 

Any items that have been around for a year or two should go into a special case with deep discounts. Turn that dead inventory onto cash.

 

Get educated

Encourage all staff, including you, to spend 15 minutes of each day learning something. Provide books, catalogues, and trade publications that can enhance product knowledge. Find good informative websites that talk about jewellery history, gemmology or selling techniques. Fashion magazines can help give a sense of style while publications like The Robb Report or others catering to high net worth people can make your staff comfortable talking about the finer things in life. Every moment spent learning is money on your pocket.

 

Be active online

Participation in social media is important but don’t forget to check out other websites and discussion forums that focus on your local community. Participate in the discussions, not as a sales member of the business but as local residents sharing knowledge of your home town. This is a wonderful way to make new friends… and people like to shop with friends.
 

It is tempting to want to sit back and coast for a while but springtime is the best time to renew, refresh and re-energize your store. Don’t let the opportunity pass. Spring into action right now.

 


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2015/04/28

Pearls have enjoyed a fantastic revival over the past few years, and key to the gem’s transformation from grandmother’s favourite to catwalk showstopper has been the realisation that pearls have more uses than just being strung one after the other in a long row.
 

The hero pearl – a piece of jewellery designed around a single pearl – beautifully shows off the lustre and natural beauty of this gem, but it has another benefit. Some pearl manufacturers are reporting that prices of a string of pearls have risen as much as 40% in the past year, and with more price hikes expected in the next 12 months, trendsetting designs with a single hero pearl don’t just look good, they address cost issues.

 

A pair of pearl earrings from Continental Jewellery Pearl studs from the Willow collection by London Road
A pair of pearl earrings
from Continental Jewellery
Pearl studs from the Willow collection
by London Road

 

HERO PEARLS

This design concept can work well across an entire suite of jewellery, as Sarah Ho of SHO Fine Jewellery shows by making pink pearls the star gems of her Florabella collection. The gems work well as both the studs of the drop earrings and the centrepiece of the ring and pendant.

 

Sarah Ho has used pink pearls as the heroes in her Florabella Bluebell collection
Sarah Ho has used pink pearls as the heroes
 in her Florabella Bluebell collection
Pearl studs from the Tree of Life collection
by Clogau Gold

 

Florabella is a very contemporary collection, and we are seeing pearls being used in increasingly modern designs. Heritage British jewellery house Boodles has trapped grey Tahitian pearls within diamond-set spikes in its aptly named Cutting Edge earrings, while Yoko London has created an ear cuff in rose or white gold with long diamond-set drops that lead to an impressively sized 13mm pearl.

 

Cutting Edge earrings with Tahitian pearls by Boodles A trendsetting ear cuff pearl design from Yoko London
Cutting Edge earrings with Tahitian pearls
by Boodles
A trendsetting ear cuff pearl design
from Yoko London

 

POP OF COLOUR

One of the joys of pearls is the vast rainbow of colours that nature creates them in: dark and moody Tahitian pearls, golden South Seas, creamy Akoyas, peachy Freshwaters.
 

While the vogue for perfectly shaped, identical white pearl necklaces held sway for a long time, jewellery designers are now using more unusually coloured pearls to add a punch to designs.

 

London Pearl has made a hero of this 19mm South Sea pearl in a pendant The Luna Moss Tahitian pearl ring with green sapphire baguette by Winterson
London Pearl has made a hero of this
19mm South Sea pearl in a pendant
The Luna Moss Tahitian pearl ring with
green sapphire baguette by Winterson

 

Flora Bhattachary has recognised the beauty of a single pearl and has chosen her hero carefully. Her Chauri pendant is a long twisted shard of 18ct gold broken up towards the end of the tip by a bright flash of an exquisitely hued, tiny peacock pearl. The clashing colour of combination of the pearl and the gold makes a fantastic impact.

 

The Chauri Chain by Flora Bhattachary has a single Tahitian peacock pearl nestled amongst 18ct gold Wren and Blossom silver and pearl pendant by Alexis Dove
The Chauri Chain by Flora Bhattachary has
a single Tahitian peacock pearl
nestled amongst 18ct gold
Wren and Blossom silver and pearl pendant
by Alexis Dove

 

Jersey Pearl also uses colour in its popular Joli bracelet collection, but this time the colour comes from a leather band that the pearl is affixed to, setting off the beautiful creaminess of a single white pearl.

 

A bright leather bracelet with white pearl from the Joli collection by Jersey Pearl.

A bright leather bracelet with white pearl from the Joli collection by Jersey Pearl.

 

A LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA

A rising trend in the pearl jewellery industry is the use of carved or faceted pearls. This is still fairly rare, but when using a single hero pearl it can add an extra point of interest.
 

Trendsetting pearl jewellery designer Melanie Georgacopoulos has a wonderful selection of quirky pearl designs, and one of her collections, Faceted, has taken pearls and subjected them to faceting in the way one would a diamond. The designer says that this has “allowed light to penetrate their inner surface and expose their organic beauty within”.

 

A pearl from the Faceted collection by Melaine Georgacopoulos

A pearl from the Faceted collection by Melaine Georgacopoulos

 

Galatea specialises in carved pearls, creating spiral designs or floral shapes, and has even set diamonds within them. It is also the creator of the Momento Pearl, a carved pearl with a microchip set inside that turns it into a piece of smart jewellery, playing a voice message when it is touched to a suitably enabled mobile phone. A trendsetting hero pearl indeed.

 

A pendant from the Lucy Daisy carved pearl collection by Galatea

A pendant from the Lucy Daisy carved pearl collection by Galatea

 

 

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