JEWELLERY EDITORIAL

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2015/01/27

There’s a Swedish proverb which says, “To speak is silver, to keep silent is gold.” But India has a proverb which contradicts the Swedish thought. Indians feel that speech is key to success. Silent person can never sell his goods.

The art of India’s silver artisans have started to speak for itself which is now attracting interests of global silver markets. Vice Chairman of India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) Mr. Pankaj Parekh says,

"Jewellery lovers in the US and the other nations of European Union have opted to buy sterling silver ornaments since gold prices raised high in 2011. The silver manufacturing technology with core designing skill and modern touch was also procured by Indian jewellers from the persistent leaders in this field like Italy. Thus, now we can compete with global leaders in silver jewellery, which has helped India receive good orders."

 

According to the latest figures made available the GJEPC, sharp fall in silver prices has made silver jewellery preferable among the overseas consumers, especially from the United States and the European Union where sterling silver ornaments replaced white gold jewellery during last few years. While India’s overall gems and jewellery exports remained robust on global economic uncertainty, shipments of silver jewellery have witnessed a phenomenal growth in 2014. In September 2014 alone, shipments of silver jewellery shot up by a staggering 75% to Rs 1,543.96 crore ($253.69 million) this year versus Rs 925.84 crore ($145.23 million) in the same month of 2013.

The figures further indicate that India's silver jewellery exports achieved about 73% of the last 2013's figure in the first six months of 2014. Data compiled by GJEPC shows a massive growth of around 32% in India's silver jewellery exports at Rs 6,306.29 crore (

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,044.87 million) between April - September 2014 compared to Rs 4,680.37 crore ($793.68 million) during the same period last year.

While gold prices on one hand have gone down by 36% to trade currently at

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,228 an oz from its lifetime peak of
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,917 an oz in August 2011, silver prices on the other hand came down by a steep 64% to $17.25 recently from its all-time high of $48.44 an oz on April 28, 2011.

India can compete now with global silver leaders

 

As far as India’s imports of gems and jewellery are concerned, they have fallen by 9% to Rs. 1,85,883 crore in 2013-14 with a sharp decline in shipments of gold bars and jewellery due to government curbs. The country had imported gems and jewellery worth Rs. 2,04,253 crore in the previous financial year but inward shipments of rough and polished diamonds remained firm, according to the figures.

The data shows that import of gold bars went down by 47% to Rs. 32,540 crore in 2013-14 from Rs. 61,431 crore during 2012-13. Inward shipments of gold jewellery came down sharply to Rs. 3,497 crore from Rs. 25,037 crore in the review period. Import of silver bars fell to Rs. 222 crore in 2013-14 from Rs. 377.71 crore in the previous year.

However, the import of rough diamonds increased 24% to Rs. 1,00,374 crore from Rs. 80,992 crore in the previous financial year. Exports of cut and polished diamonds rose by 31% to Rs 39,586 crore from Rs. 30,200 crore, the GJEPC data indicates.

Summing up, Mr. Parekh says,

"India’s prospect for silver jewellery appears bright in 2014-15. There is a colossal demand for silver jewellery in the global market and thus the sector is expecting a growth of 10% in the exports this year compared to 2013-14."

 

 


Visit www.JewelleryNewsAsia.com for more industry news and features.

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2015/01/27

In fashion – and make no mistake, jewellery design lies within this industry – we are always seeking ways to create something new, something fresh. A penchant for maximalism will lead into a season of minimalism; a vogue for vintage will be reprimanded into irrelevance with a smack of super modernism. Because you see, sometimes the easiest way to quench this thirst for newness is to turn the exiting trend on its head, which leads me to one of the most interesting jewellery styles making noise right now: earrings with big backs.

Traditionally the focus of an earring is all there up front: chandeliers, outward-projecting hoops, twinkling studs, even ear cuffs. But what is so easy to forget is that the post of an earring goes two ways, providing equal opportunity for design at each end.

 

THE HOOK

Shaun Leane was an early adopter of this trend and has moved his Signature Tusk collection forward with the addition of diamonds The ends of Asherali Knopfer's earrings can be unscrewed so that the arrows can be swapped for pearls

Shaun Leane was an early adopter of this trend and has moved his Signature Tusk collection forward with the addition of diamonds

The ends of Asherali Knopfer's earrings can be unscrewed so that the arrows can be swapped for pearls


British jeweller Shaun Leane has long been making use of the much-ignored rear view of earrings. One of his most iconic designs is the Signature Tusk earring, which uses a much longer section of metal at the back, which doubles as the fastener, to give the appearance that the wearer has a caveman-esque tusk hooked through the ear.
 

These 14ct gold and Top Wesselton diamond Dauphin Etoile earrings by Sophie Bille Brahe turn the rules of earring design on its head These gold and diamond Thorn earrings by Stephen Webster are as beautiful at the back as they are at the front

These 14ct gold and Top Wesselton diamond Dauphin Etoile earrings by Sophie Bille Brahe turn the rules of earring design on its head

These gold and diamond Thorn earrings by Stephen Webster are as beautiful at the back as they are at the front


This classic collection has been hugely popular, paving the way for similar designs, and has evolved in recent years with diamonds set into the back section of the tusks, making their rear even more eye-catching.

 

THE REVERSE DROP

The rear of these ruby, sapphire and 18ct gold  Rhodeia earrings by Leyla Abdollahi are the star of the design This earring by Delfina Delettrez has a pearl stud at the front and a long drop of pearls and ruby-set lips at the back

The rear of these ruby, sapphire and 18ct gold Rhodeia earrings by Leyla Abdollahi are the star of the design

This earring by Delfina Delettrez has a pearl stud at the front and a long drop of pearls and ruby-set lips at the back


Perhaps the most popular way of interpreting this trend at the moment is to use a stud – quite often a pearl – in the traditional position in the centre of the lobe, but contrast it with a much larger and more flamboyant design dropping down from behind the ear.
 

A modern twist on the classic pearl stud by Sakura Pearl The Stabbed 18ct rose gold and Tahitian pearl by Hannah Martin makes a feature of the rear of the earring

A modern twist on the classic pearl stud by Sakura Pearl

The Stabbed 18ct rose gold and Tahitian pearl by Hannah Martin makes a feature of the rear of the earring


Some designers are now creating feature earring backs that can be attached to existing earrings, allowing wearers to update their jewellery boxes instantly. Annoushka has created just such a product, the Frost earring back in 14ct yellow gold with a single Keshi pearl designed to hang below the lobe, and pop’s princess provocateur Rihanna has been snapped wearing one.

 

THE JACKET

Another way to work this trend without adding too much length to the design is the ear jacket, perfect for those who want to buy into this trend but prefer studs. This quirkily named design again uses a stud for the forward-facing section that fastens into a metal plate decorated with multiple jewels along its lower edge. When worn, the earring looks like one central stud in the lobe with a line of gems touching the bottom edge of the ear.
 

18ct rose gold ear jacket from Anita Ko set with sapphires and emeralds Revival emerald studs with diamond-set fan backs by Jemma Wynne

18ct rose gold ear jacket from Anita Ko set with sapphires and emeralds

Revival emerald studs with diamond-set fan backs by Jemma Wynne


This interpretation can give lots of options for designs, and is a great way to display diamonds or coloured gemstones. Though the earring may look chunky off the ear, when worn it creates a delicate, precious effect. French designer Yvonne Léon and American jeweller Jemma Wynne have some great examples of this technique.

One interesting note with regards to both ear jackets and reverse drop earrings is that they are very often sold singularly, which taps into a further trend for asymmetrical earrings.
 

Jemma Wynne ear jackets in white gold with baguette and pave diamonds An 18ct yellow gold, diamond and sapphire ear jacket by Yvonne LÉon

Jemma Wynne ear jackets in white gold with baguette and pave diamonds

An 18ct yellow gold, diamond and sapphire
ear jacket by Yvonne LÉon


This trend may certainly be backwards, but it’s fun and gently confrontational – guaranteed to start a conversation. And, after all, isn’t that what great jewellery should always do?

 

 


Visit www.JewelleryNewsAsia.com for more industry news and features.

 

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2015/01/26

Recently I had the opportunity to browse through several Jewelers’ Circular Magazines (JCK) from 1920 and 1921. Many of the topics being discussed such as advertising, ethics and customer problems are still relevant today. If it were not for all the cool antique and vintage goods being advertised as the newest and latest fashions I could almost believe I was reading a current trade journal with one glaring exception: DIAMONDS.

This was before GIA, before modern grading terminology was invented. The approach to buying, sorting, pricing, and selling diamonds was entirely different than it is today. In an article about diamond buying the most important aspect to look for was brilliancy. it must look alive and not sleepy. Colour was second in importance with “blue to blue-white” considered as best. Note that this does not refer to Fancy Coloured diamonds but instead means white diamonds with blue fluorescence. Any yellow was considered inferior and brown was the kiss of death. After that was “degree of imperfection” or what we call clarity today. Unless a stone had a severe crack or very visible inclusions, clarity was thought to be of minor importance as long as the stone is attractive.

Grading and sorting was the job of the retailer. Each store had its own opinion of quality and sorted stones to meet their own standards. Customers would shop with a jeweller whose taste in diamonds matched their own, much like one would patronize a restaurant because they like the flavour of the recipes.

In discussions of diamond grading, most stores used four classifications. Virtually all of them had “Good, Better and Best” as the three basic grades. The fourth classification varied depending on a store’s clientele. It could be a higher grade of “exceptional” or “collection” or it could be a lower designation for “bargain” stones. One retailer stated that he only used three classifications because he felt four was too much of a choice and would confuse his customers, which I find to be a very important point.

Consumers like to have a nice selection to choose from but as any good salesman knows: give them too many choices and the customer will make no choice at all. Today, with modern grading standards, we have segmented our product beyond comprehension. GIA has five grades for cut, eleven grades for clarity and a whopping 26 grades of colour…more if you include fancies. That is over 1400 possible grade combinations for any stone, each with a different price.

As an offspring of this confusion we have competing labs, conflicting grading opinions, and different price sheets to baffle the customer even more. We see the final results in the controversies over grading standards that currently plague our industry where paper is more important than product.

Maybe it is time to return to a less cumbersome way of grading diamonds. We need to simplify. Instead of numerous and virtually undetectable different grades, a return to Good, Better, and Best based on the visual beauty of the stone might be a good thing.

 

 


Visit www.JewelleryNewsAsia.com for more industry news and features.

 

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2015/01/25

White was again the look on the red carpet, this time at the Screen Actors Guild Awards held Sunday in Los Angeles. However, yellow gold snuck into the all-white party that has so far typified the red carpet awards season for jewellery this year. Just like the recently held Golden Globes, white metals and diamonds reigned supreme.

 

The interesting thing is many of the outfits worn on the red carpet Sunday, unlike the Golden Globes, were bright and colourful.

 

Understated and elegant jewellery is also typical of the awards season and SAG did not stray at all. In fact, in this area it was even more conservative than at the Golden Globes a few weeks earlier.
 

Jennifer Aniston in a long gold Amit jewelry chain accompanied by Fred Leighton yellow gold bracelets and earrings.

Jennifer Aniston in a long gold Amit jewelry chain accompanied
by Fred Leighton yellow gold bracelets and earrings.


Jennifer Aniston was practically shimmering in yellow (her dress and even her skin). She wore a long Amit gold jewellery chain accompanied by Fred Leighton yellow gold bracelets and earrings. It became one of the boldest statements on the SAG red carpet.
 

Maggie Gyllenhaal in Fred Leighton Victorian Gold pendant earrings and 1940s gold, peridot and diamond ring.

Maggie Gyllenhaal in Fred Leighton Victorian Gold pendant earrings
and 1940s gold, peridot and diamond ring.


Maggie Gyllenhaal also delved into the yellow gold trend wearing Fred Leighton Victorian Gold pendant earrings and 1940s gold, peridot and diamond ring.

 

Reese Witherspoon in more than $3.5 million worth of Harry Winston diamonds.

Reese Witherspoon in more than $3.5 million worth of Harry Winston diamonds.


However, the red carpet was most characterized by Reese Witherspoon displaying an elegant ensemble of more than $3.5 million worth of Harry Winston diamonds that included emerald-cut diamond drop earrings set in platinum, a 24-carat princess-cut diamond line bracelet set in platinum, and a cushion-cut pink sapphire & diamond cluster ring.

 

Alysia Reiner in diamond and 18k white gold jewellery by Simon G.

Alysia Reiner in diamond and 18k white gold jewellery by Simon G.


Alysia Reiner was equally elegant wearing a full suite of diamond jewellery by Simon G. in 18k white gold.

 

Kaley Cuoco Sweeting in Forevermark diamonds.

Kaley Cuoco Sweeting in Forevermark diamonds.


The Forevermark brand is dependent on white diamonds with white metals. Kaley Cuoco Sweeting was elegantly layered in a variety of pieces including Forevermark by Leo Schachter Flower Stud Earrings with Round Brilliant Forevermark Diamonds set in 18k white gold; two diamond and platinum Forevermark bracelets, and Forevermark diamond cuff set in 18k white gold.

 

Kimiko Glenn in Dionea Orcini ear climbers.

Kimiko Glenn in Dionea Orcini ear climbers.


A newcomer to the red carpet, Kimiko Glenn kept to the understated theme by with a contemporary look by wearing Dionea Orcini ear climbers. In white of course.

 

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in an amethyst and rose-cut diamond scalloped cluster ring and cushion-cut diamond drop earrings, all from Fred Leighton.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in an amethyst and rose-cut diamond scalloped cluster ring
and cushion-cut diamond drop earrings, all from Fred Leighton.


There were some understated hints of colour at the event. For example, Julia Louis-Dreyfus wore an amethyst and rose-cut diamond scalloped cluster ring, which was offset by cushion-cut diamond drop earrings. All of the jewellery was from Fred Leighton.

The biggest red carpet fashion show in the US, the Academy Awards or “Oscars,” is less than a month away. It’s the most glamorous and also the most fashion conservative event of them all. We’ll just have to wait and see if this understated and white theme continues; or if yellow gold and coloured gems make a comeback.

 

 


Please visit www.JewelleryNewsAsia.com for more industry news and features.

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2015/01/23

A new report “Turkey: gold in action” from the World Gold Council, explores the role gold plays in the daily life of the world’s fourth largest consumer of gold, as well as examining its contribution to supporting the national economy.

Turkey is a microcosm of the global gold market – a country which is home to the entire gold value chain from mining and refining, to jewellery design and investment. Its long tradition of gold demand, underpinned by a deep cultural heritage, strong fabrication capacity and a substantial coin market has resulted in households accumulating an estimated 3,500 tonnes(t) (US$145.3bn) of gold tucked “under-the-pillow”, a term used in Turkey to refer to physical gold stored by the general population.
 


The report assesses the role that gold plays in consumers’ lives, examines the economic contribution of the entire supply chain and explores how the metal has been monetised to support the national economy. In 2012 alone, gold fabrication, consumption and recycling added at least US$3.8bn to Turkey’s economy. An innovative central bank policy introduced in 2011 incentivised commercial banks to create a range of gold-backed banking products to mobilise Turkey’s stock of gold. This improved the health of the banking sector by reducing costs and improving liquidity, as well as ensuring commercial banks boost their gold reserves. Policymakers have now successfully seen around 250t of gold (US$10.4bn) drawn into the financial system and put to work supporting Turkey’s economy.

 

Alistair Hewitt, Head of Market Intelligence at the World Gold Council said:

“Amid a challenging global economic climate, Turkey faces ongoing political and social pressures to ensure that it steers a steady economic course. Gold represents many things in this society – from employment for over a quarter of a million people in the gold industry, to an investment protecting people’s wealth against the ravages of inflation and currency weakness. It is also a unique example to the rest of the world of how gold can successfully be put to work at the core of a nation’s financial architecture.”

 

Some of the key findings from the research include the following:

  • Gold is deeply ingrained in Turkish culture. The use of gold coins as a medium of exchange was pioneered by merchants in Lydia – the precursor of modern Turkey - as far back as 700BC and continues to be one of the world’s largest official coin fabricators.
  • Turkey’s long-standing desire for gold has resulted in households accumulating a large stock of gold tucked “under-the-pillow”. An estimated 3,500t of gold has been collected by households. Gold makes a significant contribution to Turkey’s economy. Gold fabrication, consumption and recycling added at least US$3.8bn to Turkey’s economy in 2012 alone.
  • Gold is a small, but important cog in Turkey’s financial system. By the end of 2013, commercial banks held around 250t, equivalent to US$10.4bn, which had been put to work supporting Turkey’s economy. This includes 40t - about US
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    .7bn – of Turkey’s “under-the-pillow” stock, which has been mobilised since mid-2012.
  • With a well-developed post-production supply chain, Turkey has ambitions to become a regional refining and recycling hub. Turkey has a number of large scale refiners which refine doré to internationally accepted LBMA standards as well  as processing or recycling gold.
  • Its gold mining industry is small, but growing quickly. Gold production has increased in almost every year since 2001, growing from 2t to 33.5t in 2013

 

According to the report it’s not just domestic demand that is strong. Turkey’s jewellery industry benefits from exports and a healthy tourist trade. Turkey’s gold jewellery exports boomed after export restrictions were lifted in 1983.  Italy still claims the number one spot, but for some time Turkey has been the world’s second largest exporter of gold jewellery. Its biggest export market is the Middle East, but it also exports to the US, Russia and Germany. Between 1998 and 2013 the value of Turkish jewellery exports, most of which was gold, increased from US$209mn to US$3.3bn, generating valuable overseas earnings.

Download the full report from the World Council Website.

To experience the importance of gold in the Turkish Jewellery Industry, visit the Istanbul Jewellery Fair, organized in March and October of every year.

 


Visit http://www.jewellerynewsasia.com/ for more industry news and features.

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