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The next generation of jewellery shoppers are looking for something real, but as analysts forecast they will never have the level of disposable income their parents did, when it comes to fine jewellery a balance has to be struck.


These 14ct yellow gold earrings by Zoë Chicco are threaded through the lobe.

These 14ct yellow gold earrings by Zoë Chicco are threaded through the lobe.


One of the early solutions to this problem was gold plating. Rather than plating base metals, brands chose to plate solid silver. This might seem like an unnecessary luxury to some, but the popularity of this trend was driven by a desire to buy into something real, a precious piece of jewellery, and silver plated with gold offered a much more affordable price point than solid gold.


Jenneifer Meyer shows off a selection of her delicate gold jewellery on her Instagram page.

Jenneifer Meyer shows off a selection of her delicate gold jewellery on her Instagram page.


While gold-plated silver jewellery continues to be popular, something confirmed by Stella Layton, the assay master at the Birmingham Assay Office in the UK, another way to give younger jewellery shoppers something real without breaking the bank is to use solid gold but in tiny amounts.


“Increasingly, Millennials want to invest in the real deal,” says Maia Adams, co-founder of global jewellery trend analysis service Adorn Insight, referring to the generation of consumers aged 35 or younger known as the Millennials. “This has driven the barely there trend, and the emergence of indie designers and brands selling fine and dainty designs in precious metal has grown phenomenally.”


The wafer-thin 14ct gold Lumiere necklace by Ariel Gordon has been set with three 1pt diamonds.

The wafer-thin 14ct gold Lumiere necklace by Ariel Gordon has been set with three 1pt diamonds.


This delicate and dainty trend can be applied to all sorts of jewellery: barely-there chains with minuscule charms; super-thin rings, perhaps micro-set with diamonds; tiny studs. The trend applies itself best to yellow jewellery and the majority of examples you will find are in this alloy, with most US designers working in 14ct to hit the necessary price points.


This Super Tiny Evil Eye gold bracelet by Adina Reyter is set with diamond pavé.

This Super Tiny Evil Eye gold bracelet by Adina Reyter is set with diamond pavé.


One brand doing particularly well with such collections is Catbird, a quirky independent jeweller in New York’s Brooklyn that has just opened a dedicated bridal store a couple of blocks from its original shop. Its stock rooms are filled with delicate gold jewellery, from slivers of stacking rings decorated with initials to lean bar bracelets and petite diamond or emerald studs with chains that loop round to the back of the ear. All are made in its Brooklyn workshops and all are solid gold.


A barely-there yellow gold earring by New York’s Catbird. A selection of delicate gold rings and thin gold hand chains made by Catbird.
A barely-there yellow gold earring (left). A selection of delicate gold rings and thin gold hand chains (right) both made by Catbird


With gold price fluctuations hitting both consumers and jewellers, this is a trend that offers a flash of the real thing without incurring huge outlays for either party. And after all, wouldn’t you rather be selling the real thing? I know I’d rather be buying it, even if it does cost me a bit of weight.



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India and the US have recently agreed to mutually support and cooperate in gem & jewellery sector. The measure, considered as one of the major jewellery export booster for India will also greatly enhance India’s quality of finished goods. Joint ventures between US retailers and Indian manufacturers will ensure quality products at the most competitive prices.


Joint ventures would lead to win-win situation for both the countries
Joint ventures would lead to win-win situation for both the countries


Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FICCI)'s Gems & Jewellery, Luxury, Lifestyle Forum (FGJLLF) and the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) have recently announced a joint strategic alliance to promote the setting up of regional jewellery manufacturing hubs. As part of the mandate of this alliance, both the trade bodies have agreed to work towards two very key downstream and upstream developmental roles for the gem and jewellery industry.


At the downstream end, large retailers from the US will work with Indian manufacturers to identify, invest and support the development of large Shared Jewellery Manufacturing Hubs (SJMH) in India while for upstream support, the Indian marketers and brands with the assistance of IACC would be given the opportunity to market their products in the US market, which is estimated at USD 60 billion and is the largest global market for finished jewellery.


Under this strategic alliance, the IACC will set up a Joint Committee to explore the setting up of jewellery manufacturing hubs in various parts of the country. Talks are already on with top US retailers Signet and Helzberg, who have expressed keen interests.


The Secretary General of IACC Ms. Ranjana Khanna says, "Gem and jewellery industry of the US too wants to be a part of 'Make in India' movement. Global retailers are looking to boost their presence and contribution in the Indian market. While India possesses the largest work-pool of skilled artisans, the finished quality is still a challenge as is the availability of new technologies and machinery. A typical SJMH will accommodate all these facilities and also provide skill-enhancement training to the artisans, thereby making the Indian finished jewellery into global quality products, which will find a large market both domestically and around the world."


Besides establishment of the SJMHs would enhance the country’s jewellery exports and generate more job opportunities. The hubs are also likely to improve the working conditions for millions of artisans across the country. The partnership deal is likely to closely connect India and the US in gold and jewellery business. The cooperation deal aims to set up at least 3 to 5 manufacturing hubs over the next 3 to 5 years.


A recent survey conducted by PwC and IACC has revealed that with India increasing focus on developing manufacturing hubs, there is a significant opportunity for the US companies to bring in technological expertise in sectors like gem and jewellery.


The survey says that the Indo-US tie-up in the gem and jewellery sector can be a win-win situation for both the countries as on one hand the jewellery hubs can work as captive production units for the US retailers and on the other hand Indian manufacturers can get advantage from the global expertise of their US counterparts.


India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has also been working to strike greater Indo-US Business deals by organizing Indo-US Jewellery Business Development Conference.


Mr. Vipul Shah, GJEPC’s Chairman says, “We visualized this type of event as an on-going platform for members of this most critical link in the international fine jewellery supply chain. The continuation of such conferences will help build one-on-one sourcing relationship and address broader issues to increase efficiency and profitability within the sourcing process.”


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The JNA Awards has quickly grown to become one of the most prestigious award ceremonies in the international jewellery industry. However, it is still looking for a permanent home.


This year the event was held in the ballroom of the Regal Airport Hotel. While the location was different the show retailed its elaborate stage setting, congratulatory atmosphere, variety of international acts, speeches from industry leaders, and of course the award presentations.


2015 JNA Awards was held in the ballroom of the Regal Airport Hotel.
2015 JNA Awards was held in the ballroom of the Regal Airport Hotel


JNA Awards 2015 Entertainment

It was another night in which the glitz and glamour of the Asian jewellery industry was well represented. In its fourth year, the award program is organized by the jewellery industry publication, JNA (Jewellery News Asia), the awards gala dinner was the centrepiece of a year-long effort to recognize individuals and companies that have distinguished themselves in the jewellery industry. The event was attended by more than 500 industry stakeholders and was held in conjunction with the world’s largest fine jewellery B2B show, the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair.


The top recipient this year was Ou Yang Chiu Mei, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award, JNA’s highest honour. This tribute is presented to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the gemstone and jewellery industry.


Lifetime Achievement Award: Ou Yang Chiu Mei
Lifetime Achievement Award: Ou Yang Chiu Mei


Ou Yang is an internationally acclaimed gemologist and mineralogist whose research, scientific discoveries and knowledge application have contributed to the growth and development of the jadeite trade.


Her long list of accomplishments includes identifying a new mineral in the Burmese jadeite group, defining the official terminology for jade, identifying the presence of enhancement and treatment of jade in Hong Kong and producing a set of criteria for identifying and grading different jade types. Her passionate pursuit of knowledge has earned her the title “Jade Lady” among industry insiders.


The JNA Awards honours exceptional leadership and world-class innovation in the jewellery and gemstone industry, said Letitia Chow, founder of JNA, director of Business Development – Jewellery Group at UBM Asia and chair of the JNA Awards judging panel.


Letitia Chow, founder of JNA
Letitia Chow, founder of JNA


“As you can imagine, going through the rigorous judging process and be named as one of our honorees is an outstanding achievement in itself,” Chow said. “Each year, the honorees demonstrate how we can do business in a smarter, more creative and efficient way. They refuse to be complacent by displaying great resilience and forward thinking, and embracing challenges with an open mind.”


She continued, “With the JNA Awards, we help create a new culture of encouragement, recognition and celebration rather than competition. Collectively, we can reach higher grounds, and we want the world to understand us–the jewellery industry–better.”


The JNA Awards honours exceptional leadership and world-class innovation in the jewellery and gemstone industry.
The JNA Awards honours exceptional leadership and world-class innovation in the jewellery and gemstone industry.


The 18 award recipients across 15 categories are as follows:

1. 3 Decades of Excellence: Hong Kong Jewellery & Jade Manufacturers Association

2. Brand of the Year – Retail: Chii Lih Coral Co Ltd

3. Employer of the Year: Phu Nhuan Jewelry Joint Stock Co

4. Industry Innovation of the Year:

China Stone Co Ltd
Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd
Shenzhen United BlueOcean Technology Development Co Ltd
Shree Ramkrishna Exports Pvt Ltd

5. Manufacturer of the Year – Gemstone Cutting & Polishing: RMC Gems India Ltd

6. Manufacturer of the Year – Diamond Cutting & Polishing: Hari Krishna Exports Pvt Ltd

7. Manufacturer of the Year – Gem-Set Jewellery: Lorenzo Jewelry Ltd

8. Manufacturer of the Year – Precious Metals-Only Jewellery: Shenzhen Ganlu Jewelry Co Ltd

9. Outstanding Enterprise of the Year – ASEAN Countries: PANDORA Production Co Ltd

10. Outstanding Enterprise of the Year – India: J. B. And Brothers Pvt Ltd

11. Outstanding Enterprise of the Year – Mainland China: Shenzhen Batar Investment Holding Group Co Ltd

12. Retailer of the Year (450 outlets and below): Golden dew Co Ltd

13. E-tailer of the Year: KELA

14. Sustainability Initiative of the Year: Shenzhen Xingguangda Jewelry Industrial Co Ltd

15. Young Entrepreneur of the Year (Age 40 or below): Sit Kwan - Shenzhen Bofook Jewellery Co Ltd


The JNA Awards was supported by Headline Partners Rio Tinto Diamonds and Chow Tai Fook, together with Honoured Partners Diarough Group, Gübelin Group, Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies, Shanghai Diamond Exchange and Guangdong Land Holdings Ltd.


Everything is in place to make the awards a permanent part of the international jewellery industry. All it needs now is a home.

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It’s been a couple of weeks since you came back from the show. You have completed your after the show tasks. You’ve priced your new goods and displayed them in their own feature showcase. You had a private showing for your best customers. Pictures from your trip are uploaded to your website and posted on your social media page. If you have your own blog, your travel story and new items are already mentioned and promoted. So what is left?  Is that all there is to do?  Not at all, here is one more very important task.

This venue is easy to navigate, consisting of two long side by side exhibition halls and two other halls in a different part of the building.  All of the exhibition spaces are on the lower level of the building and the upper level held support services such as food, information and security. 

Pull out all of the business cards you collected at the show. Hopefully you made notes on why you kept them and what that person or company has to offer. Sort them into three piles. The first pile contains things really interest you and you want to start on immediately. The second stack is for things that you may want to think about in the near future. The third stack is the “why do I have this card” stack.



Send a detailed e-mail to everyone in your first stack. Outline your interest in their product or service and request further information. They just met thousands of buyers and probably need a bit of help to know who you are so if you can, try to include something about your interaction with them to help them remember you. This could be the start of a good long term relationship so put some effort into these contacts.


The second stack can have a boiler plate message.  You just want to establish a basic contact. It can be something as simple as “Hi, this is Dave from XYZ corp. I have a jewellery store located in ABC city. It was a pleasure to meet you at the show. I may be interested in what you have to offer in the near future so please include me in any of your mailings or email lists. If you have a catalogue, please send it to my address.” Just be sure to copy and paste each one in an individual e-mail rather than just listing all the email addresses in one message. That is a sure way to end up in their spam filter.


The third stack can be handled a few different ways. If you know you took a card just to be polite, dispose of it now. If you are unsure why you took the card, you send a quick email asking for more information. It might be something you really want but it totally slipped your mind.  If they have a web address on the card, look it up. It may remind you of why you have their card.


Communicating with your new contacts is important. After all, that is one of the reasons to went to the show so don’t forget this important task.


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India has once again proved its commitment towards clean and transparent diamond business by enforcing a ban recently on trading of synthetic or lab-grown diamonds within the premises of Mumbai based Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB). Henceforth, all traders will deal only in natural diamonds and strict action would be taken against those who are caught with synthetic diamonds.


Ban, a timely decision taken by the BDB
Ban, a timely decision taken by the BDB


Mr. Anoop Mehta, President of the BDB says, "A circular has been issued to all the office holders of the bourse to strictly observe the ban. A strict vigil will be maintained to ensure that no synthetic diamond enters the bourse from now.  Moreover, it (the synthetics deal) was tarnishing the image of Indian diamond industry globally. With this we have sent a message to the world bourses that we are dealing in natural diamonds only."


Thus BDB has now become the second bourse in the world to ban the synthetic diamonds trading. Earlier last year, the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) was the first to officially ban trading of synthetic diamond. IDE is also the first exchange to ban trade in conflict diamonds. The global image of Indian diamond industry has been battered during last one-and-a-half-year after many revelations were made on the detection of undisclosed mixing of synthetic diamonds with natural diamond parcels. Even gemological laboratories world-wide had raised an alarm on the unauthorized mixing of synthetic stones, found from the parcels sent from Mumbai and Surat.


Industry sources say that the action was a timely taken measure as the erection of a Special Notified Zone (SNZ) for conducting global rough trading is nearly complete in the BDB where mining giants like De Beers, Alrosa, Rio Tinto etc. are eager to start auctions from November, 2015. According to an official estimate, India which was importing synthetic diamonds worth USD 4 million in 2004-05 had imported  the lab-grown diamonds worth USD 86 million in 2013-14, which is 21-times increase in 10 years. So it had become necessary to put a strict vigil on the speedily increasing inflow of such diamonds and to create a congenial atmosphere within the premises of the BDB for transparent global trading.


Moreover, at the request of some Indian processing companies, De Beers plans to set up a synthetic diamond detection centre either in Surat or in BDB, Mumbai soon that will detect diamonds even studded on jewellery. Recently in March, De Beers had set up a grading and inscription facility in Surat, at an investment of Rs 60 crore. Of course, there are some synthetic diamond-detecting machines at BDB but none of them can identify synthetic diamonds in ornaments. The BDB machines have a long waiting list for testing. Other mining companies like Alrosa and Rio Tinto are also expected to start the same facility in India soon.


Mr. Dinesh Navadia, Regional Chairman of India’s Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) says, "Diamond trade of about USD 23 billion is done within the bourse annually. So we want to build a clean image of India’s diamond industry and this is the beginning."


Mr. Alex Popov, President of Moscow Diamond Bourse (MDB) says, “I believe that the reported mixing of synthetic diamonds with natural ones is scandalous if not plainly criminal. Since this is done mostly with small goods, it is obvious that the focus has been on reported incidents in India and I am encouraged by the unequivocal condemnation that I have heard from our counterparts in India. Of course, all bourses need to take the measures needed to stamp out these practices.”


Industry circles here feel that this is an aptly taken decision by the BDB as it would bear a major impact on enhancing the deteriorated consumer-confidence to a great extent.


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