luxury jewellery

Is luxury jewelry recession-proof?

Isaac Mostovicz writes that the luxury diamond industry's ability to market for greater exclusivity may make it 'recession-proof'...

If the the 39-carat diamond auctioned by Christie’s recently, which went for $5.4 million, is any indication, then the luxury jewelry industry may be bouncing back quicker than other industries.

However the New York Times is suggesting something greater: that the entire luxury jewelry industry may, in fact, be recession–proof. Mark Dunhill, chief executive officer of Fabergé, is quoted:

“During times of economic uncertainly real luxury comes back,” Mr. Dunhill said. At the same time, however, “there is a tendency to approach special purchases in a more discerning and discreet manner.”

Jean-Christophe Bédos, Boucheron’s chief executive calls the new approach ‘Beyond Luxury’: “[A] unique expression of excellence in design and craftsmanship.”

What Mr. Dunhill calls “real luxury” are the kinds of things that Lambda personalities prefer — the truly exclusive products and experiences that bestow status.

This is consistent with what some in the luxe industry are calling a return to the roots of luxe. I wrote previously that it’s possible the only way back for the luxe industry is to go exclusive. Not all agree, however it will become a strategy for some brands going forward.

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Christie’s 39-carat diamond nets $5.4M price tag

Isaac Mostovicz writes that Christie's 39-carat diamond auction could set the pace for the diamond industry's recovery ...

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Last week Christie’s Auction House put up for auction a 39-carat diamond. It was part of  the “Magnificent Jewels from a Distinguished Private Collector” auction.

Later this week Sotheby’s will auction a 29-carat flawless diamond. I wrote previously how that could set the tone for how the diamond industry picks itself up and carries on, post-recession. However it seems Christie’s has already solved that.

Rahul Kadakia, head of jewelry at Christie’s New York is quoted in National Jeweler saying that the Christie’s sale is indicative of an industry recovering quickly.

“The diamond market continues to show remarkable strength despite the volatility of the financial world … Just two weeks after a very strong sale of jewels at Christie’s Hong Kong–where a 5-carat pink diamond went for $10.8 million–the exceptional Evening Star Golconda diamond of 39 carats sold at Christie’s New York for $5.4 million. It was a fitting grand finale to a year that saw over $100 million in jewels change hands under our gavels in the U.S.”

We could be seeing a strong resurgence in the diamond industry, most notably at auction houses. If a 39-carat stone nets $5.4M, then one could hazard to guess that Sotheby’s 29-carat stone will net around $3.5. However reports currently have it pegged at going for $1.8 million to $2.2 million.

Regardless, it appears the Lambda personalities are out in force in the diamond market, ready to pay top prices for the most exclusive diamonds available to be bought.

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Tiffany & Co pushes into China with a new digital approach

Isaac Mostovicz writes that diamond retailer Tiffany & Co has discovered the benefits of digital to reach their varied customer base....

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Every week it seems a different luxe brand is making a push into China. This week it’s diamond retailer Tiffany & Co, with a new digital through-the-line campaign for its Tiffany Keys collection.

Media by Brand Republic has more:

This week, Tiffany unveiled its ’Journey behind the door’ online campaign, developed by Proximity Live and BBDO, in conjunction with a photography exhibition featuring mainland celebrities. The digital site, at TiffanyKeysPhotos.com, features a sample of the photographers’ works and includes community features, encouraging audiences to share their interpretations of the theme ‘Journey behind the door’ via BBS posts and photographs.

The new digital campaign is a different approach for luxe, which has previously avoided digital because of a perceived loss of exclusivity. But now that those same Lambda personalities who avoided the web are now practically digital natives. As a result, the luxe brands have less motivation to avoid it, too.

bhavin says of this article...

hi this is bhavin here i just want to know what will be the new upcoming in the diamond industry…consumers buying costly diamonds or cheaper diamonds……in future so wat will be the future……

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Sotheby’s 29 carat flawless diamond will test the market

Isaac Mostovicz writes that whether a flawless 29 carat diamond ring sells will determine the state of the diamond industry...

At its New York headquarters on October 19, Sotheby’s will take the diamond industry’s temperature when it auctions a 29 carat flawless diamond ring. The price it fetches will be telling of the state of the industry and the prices buyers have a stomach for.

Luxist is reporting that the price is estimated at $1.8 million to $2.2 million or $61,000 per carat. A flawless diamond of this size would be eye-catching to any Theta personality, both because of its rarity and overall perfection.

And while this is a truly remarkable diamond, it’s worth noting that this is yet another example of what I wrote previously about the industry forgetting the consumer. Other items included in the auction are considerably less expensive, with the next highest item expected to go for between $250,000 and $300,000.

It’s an industry test to see what kind of diamonds will sell in this climate and which will not. If the only diamond left standing is the 29 carat one, we’ll know the industry will and will not tolerate.

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Eye Jewels: The latest in (extreme) luxury jewellery

Isaac Mostovicz on an unconventional procedure...

This one isn’t for the squeamish — the Netherlands Institute for Innovative Occular Surgery is offering a procedure sure to please the most discriminating Lambda: a jewelry implant for one’s eye. It’s certainly unique. Is it safe? I’m not sure — have a look at the video (warning, it’s a bit graphic):

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Jewellery industry turns to innovation to kill the recession blues

Isaac Mostovicz writes that a creative approach is needed to attract customers in an economic downturn...

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In an economic downturn it is more important than ever for companies to be creative and active in the way they approach their customers. It is not enough to just sit back and wait for customers to make the first move. They need to be enticed, surprised and even amazed, and companies need to make the extra effort, whether this is in their product design, marketing approach or service.

In the jewellery industry, which has been particularly hit by the global recession (De Beers reported a 99 per cent drop in net profits for the first half of 2009) you now see innovative attempts by some companies to attract new customers.

One example is luxury jewellery brand Caratti. It aims to revolutionize the process of buying diamonds and luxury jewellery by educating customers on diamonds and jewellery care, and by offering “value add” services such as marriage proposal ideas and marketing concepts such as “Describe your partner; Find a ring!”. Vinit Mehta, founder of Caratti said of the venture “We will not just sell jewellery but will help customers make an educated buying decision based on their personality, budget, lifestyle”.

Another example is American firm LifeGem, which specialises in creating diamonds, has tactically decided to tap in on the greatest media buzz of today- the death of Michael Jackson. LifeGem has obtained strands of hair from the deceased star, with the intention of turning this into diamonds created from the carbon in the hair. As bizarre as this venture might seem, tapping in on the current media fuss and creating something that is relevant to customers today may offer that extra competitive advantage much needed in a tough climate.

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Self-gifting to avoid Valentine’s disappointment

Isaac Mostovicz writes...

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What do women want for Valentine’s Day? That’s the question Jewelry.com asked hundreds of women in a recent survey–and their top response was (somewhat unsurprisingly) diamond jewelry. Though this year, respondents were more sensitive to price than in years past. 38.4% of respondents said their partner usually spends no more than $99, and 39% believed that this was a suitable limit for the budget (whereas 24% said “the sky” should be the limit for Valentine’s gifts).

Even so, almost half of respondents expected “disappointment” or “something he picks up last minute” from their partners. When this is the case, it appears more and more women are taking matters into their own hands. Almost 30 percent said that they’ve purchased Valentine’s gifts for themselves in the past, and 90% said they bought themselves a piece of jewelry as a way to say “I love myself.”

The woman who purchases her own jewelry interprets the luxury and pleasure she gets from the piece in her own way–in many ways she’ll appreciate it more than if it’s a surprise from partner.

[via JCKonline.com]

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300 Rainbow Diamonds to be Showcased

Isaac Mostovicz writes...

Green Diamond

The unique Rainbow Collection of 300 coloured diamonds is to be showcased by International Diamond Laboratories at the Dubai International Jewellery Week in December 2007.

The collection is thought to be the largest of its kind in the world and consists of blue, cognac, orange, purple, and yellow diamonds thought to exceed $100 million in value. The Rainbow Collection is owned by Eddy Elzas, who began his career as a diamond cleaver before progressing into brokering and eventually becoming recognised as the leading industry expert on coloured diamonds.

The showcasing of the collection at the Dubai World Trade Centre will be accompanied by a talk on the subject by Elzas, which is likely to cement the growing popularity of coloured diamonds, particularly in the Gulf market.

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Loving Trinkets Prove a Top Trend

Isaac Mostovicz writes...

What purpose do charms in jewelry serve? Should they be a staple of a woman’s daily living or are they chintzy, cheap, and better left for teenagers and the lower end of the luxury market?

The Financial Times’ most recent Watches and Jewellery section has a very interesting article about these trinkets, noting their recent rise in popularity (they’ve been Cartier’s best selling jewelry range for the past 12 months) and how charms can mean more to buyers (and those who receive them as gifts) than regular jewelry pieces. Designer Theo Fennell says:

I have always believed that working jewellery [that does something, such as a locket, opening ring, or scent bottle for the neck] holds a great fascination for people, a sense of mystery or private magic. … These pieces are charms in in the proper sense of the word–talismanic and magical.

They can also be ‘very practical,’ according to Victoire de Castellaine, creative director of Dior Fine Jewellery. He believes charms are good for ‘men who don’t want to find a new idea every Christmas.’

This statement sounds a bit disingenuous coming after Fennell’s quote; de Castellaine seems to imply that charms are perfect lazy men trying to find something suitable for their wives, rather than finding something truly meaningful. I believe that it doesn’t matter what the piece is, if it’s a gift it needs to be a pure and true representation of the love between the giver and recipient. Jewelry, especially diamonds, can be the perfect gift for loved ones, but the gift has to be carefully and lovingly considered.

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