- Thomas Gelb – NCDIA
- Jordan Fine – JFine, Inc.
- Sean Moore – Borsheims
- Pratima Sethi – Sethi Couture
- Jim Pounds – Dominion Diamonds
- Rob Bates – JCK (Moderator)
Below you will find a few excerpts from our panel seminar, the full video will be available in August via JCK.com
Rob Bates – As a retailer, How do you source them?
Sean Moore: As a retailer it is important to develop relationships with vendors who carry Natural Color Diamonds, some buyers don’t understand the importance in sourcing color. It took me about 5-6 years to learn who the players were, who owns what products and which of them were treating me fair.
Rob Bates – As a designer, what have you learn from the customers?
Pratima Sethi: What i find fascinating is the educational factor for consumers and how long it has taken them to understand color. 5-6 years ago customers were just intrigued and weren’t aware of the vast color shades available. Today consumers are becoming more sophisticated, it’s all about design and personalization when it comes to purchasing these diamonds.
Rob Bates – Are customers asking about certain colors?
Jordan Fine: There is a growing interest in natural color diamonds at the consumer level. For example it comes down to what is in the retail store, in the last 10 – 15 years consumers have seen yellow and browns at NCDIA’s retail stores. Consumers are on to color and retailers are starting to pick up on this by introducing new colors such as Pinks, Blues, Orange etc.
Rob Bates – Is there certain customers that look for color, who is buying them?
Pratima Sethi: It’s not necessarily a rich person, and that is what makes color diamonds great is that there is this range of price from affordable to valuable. And as a designer who works with Natural Color Diamonds, we need to break that notion that this product is not just for the wealthy but for everyone. They are beautiful, unique and obtainable to buy. You can attract a person early on with champagnes and build that business over time to go into yellow, pinks etc.
Sean Moore: The majority of the colors that we carry are brown, yellow and black, and customers who don’t want to spend the money on white diamonds can pick up a champagne diamond that can be more beautiful and affordable.
Rob Bates – How do you price the more rarer color diamonds?
Tom Gelb: There is no methodology to determine what color is, the grading system is quite complex. We can at least guide them to what direction.
Jordan Fine: Obviously for a color stone, i would pay more for a stone that is Vivid rather than a stone that is Fancy. Certain flavors have the WOW factor and it’s all about taste.
Pratima Sethi: There is ways of of taking advantage of the demand in color. Color diamonds are similar to art, with the large color palette.
Sean Moore: Some retailers look towards the auctions houses as a starting point for pricing and while that information is very valuable, i do encourage you to find the right vendors to work so you can find the best price. Your ability to get the goods is a big factor in pricing. There is an increased growth in interest from the consumer level . When customers hear a price of a blue, it’s very hard to market something that is not affordable to general public.
Rob Bates: Has the investment market in particular changed?
Jordan Fine: NCDIA does not endorsed investments as none of us can tell the price and future growth. However some stones have appreciated in value. In terms of investment, there is some issues to tackle.
Sean Moore: For us, investments are not for us.. We don’t endorse Natural Color Diamonds as an investment however we do show customers the growth when customers do ask us about this.
Rob Bates: There use to be a stigma against browns, do you still see this? And what about Yellow?
Jim Pounds: Fancy browns exudes warmth and they are very much in demand and yellows in there full range have developed to the retail level, they are just stunning. I don’t see any stigma against yellows.
Rob Bates: Lets talk about supply? Who will fill the gap with Pink once the supply of Argyle is complete.
Jim Pounds: From the Dominion Diamond Group, we don’t see any significant growth in production of Pink Diamonds, a few more yellows but it is a challenge to maintain supply. Argyle from what we know could extend to 2020 and beyond however with the economics it’s really the direction that Rio Tinto wants to take
Rob Bates: Lets talk about synthetics and new treatments.
Tom Gelb: The push from what i have seen has always been with white goods. With treatments it use to be people in their garages, however it’s a bit more complex now as “scientists” have been getting involved. But the ultimate goal for these guys are white goods.