Tag: NCDIA Seminar Series (page 1 of 2)

NCDIA Seminar at JA New York

By: Michael Hakimian Senior Sales Manager, Almor Designs NCDIA Co-chair Marketing Committee

Michael Hakimian, Senior Manager, Fancy Color Diamond Division, Almor Design and co-chair of NCDIA’s Marketing Committee, gave a presentation at the JA Show on:

Natural Color Diamond Jewelry: An Affordable Solution to Low Margins

Michael prepared this summary of his presentation:

I had the honor of speaking about Natural Color Diamonds at the JA New York Summer Jewelry Show. The topic was “Natural Color Diamond Jewelry: An Affordable Solution to Low Margins.” After Barbara Wheat spoke about the benefits of joining NCDIA, I spoke about the main topic, along with advice on how jewelry retailers can get involved and grow their Natural Color Diamond business, also covered was some basics of Natural Color Diamond.

Currently, the jewelry industry is plagued with the problem of low margins, especially when it comes to white diamonds. There are many factors at play that can explain why there are such low margins in white diamonds. I decided to cover some of the most important ones, such as a pricing structure that is already in place to value them, the familiarity with white diamonds due to their wide use in the industry, diamond trading websites inside the trade and websites outside of the trade, and dumping by diamond dealers struggling for liquidity.

At the same time that the industry is struggling for margins in white diamonds, in the Natural Color Diamond business, there are high margins, customer excitement, and affordable selections.

There are a variety of reasons why there are higher margins in Natural Color Diamonds than in white diamonds. These include: No industry accepted pricing structure for natural color diamonds, Lack of market familiarity with Natural Color Diamond pricing and value, Rarity of Natural Color Diamonds (Supply), Customer Excitement that is powered by Hollywood Stars, Auctions, and heavy advertising by important jewelry companies (Demand), the One-of-a-kind feel of each Natural Color Diamond, and the Allure of Luxury that Natural Color Diamond jewelry provides. Together, these factors along with others, have laid a foundation for higher margins in Natural Color Diamonds than in white diamonds.

Though jewelry retailers are showing increased interest in Natural Color Diamond jewelry, some believe that affordability is a barrier to entry. Some of this is due to the record auction sales of Natural Color Diamonds, and extravagant celebrity color diamond purchases. However, there are jewelry manufacturers that only manufacture Natural Color Diamond jewelry or have large selections of Natural Color Diamond jewelry, and they do carry pieces at affordable price points.

NCDIA research indicates that the “Sweet Spot” for jewelry retailers is between the Retail Price of $2,500 and $50,000. Pictures of pieces from NCDIA Wholesale Members were shown at the affordable retail price points of $5,000, $10,000, $25,000, and $50,000. The fact that there are affordable selections within the Natural Color Diamond Market, allows jewelry retailers to purchase a selection for their store without breaking their budget and lays a foundation for selling higher-end pieces in the future. Consequently, Natural Color Diamond jewelry is an affordable solution to low margins.

For retailers interested in getting started and/or growing their Natural Color Diamond business, some advice given was to join the NCDIA as a Retail Member which will help with education, advertising, and sourcing; educating yourself and your staff, promoting the Natural Color Diamond inventory constantly and in visible places, building a respectable inventory (Variety of Colors, Price Points, Sources), to do trunk shows, and to stress to employees to show the new Natural Color Diamond inventory to all the store’s customers.

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Natures Diversity; Natural Color Diamonds – Alan Bronstein

Alan Bronstein

NCDIA Member Alan Bronstein discussed the many beautiful creations nature provides as natural colored diamonds, in front of a full house of National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA) conference attendees and DCGIA members. Like flowers in a garden, diamonds cover every color and shade, to hold us in awe and appreciation. We were captivated with the brilliance, fire and color of each diamond Alan shared as well as the personal stories of previewing the Argyle Diamond Tender for colored diamonds he collected and dealt with during the past decades. Visit: Aurora Gems  for some wonderful pictures of colored diamonds.

NAJA + DCGIA Members

National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA) was founded in 1981 on the premise that the specialized field of gem and jewelry appraising was an area that was long overdue for representation on a professional basis. Learn more at:  NAJA

Interest in fancy colored diamonds has caused demand to increase over the last 10 years. This has caused great strain on the very limited supplies and strong upward pressure on prices. The cut of fancy colored diamonds is usually selected to maximize the intensity of the color rather than to maximize light return, which would lessen the richness of the color. The best cut for colored diamonds, is one that gives the strongest face-up color. So when cutting a colored diamond, the cutter wants a shape that will balance maximum brilliance and maximum color. GIA’s standard D-to-Z color grading system is based on the relative absence of color in diamonds, from colorless to yellow or brown, which are the diamonds most common in the retail market place.

For Fancy Colored Diamonds, GIA’s colored diamond color grading is based on the presence of color. There is a wealth of information at GIA’s Website GIA describes color in terms of hue (the color), tone (relative lightness or darkness), and saturation (intensity). Hue (like pink) is modified by a “Fancy-grade” term (Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense, Fancy Deep, Fancy Vivid or Fancy Dark) which describes the effect of both tone and saturation. Get a copy of the GIA COLORED DIAMONDS COLOR REFERENCE CHARTS “here soon”  See natural diamonds in all their colors, and where they appear on the GIA colored diamond grading scale.

Nature has given birth to many beautiful things, and among the rarest are natural colored diamonds. Colored diamonds, whether of a pure color or modified by one or more colors will always fall in a range of description based on its primary color and modifier colors if any, to include the saturation strength, vividness or amount of color present, as well as the value or tone, the scale or measurement of lightness to darkness, or white to black. Nomenclature used by most labs, such as Light, Fancy Light, Fancy. Fancy Intense, Fancy Vivid, Fancy Deep and Fancy Dark, take into account all levels of lightness, saturation, value and tone. But the dividing line between such grades can often vary between competing labs. Nomenclature used to describe the color of a diamond, Purplish Pink, will presumably take into account any stone that has a primary visible color of pink, and a secondary or modified color of purple. As long as the primary color is seen as pink, the percentage of the purple modifier can vary from 1% – 49%. While a scientific description of natural colored diamonds, it is a subjective grading and nomenclature choice, which allows differences of opinion between labs. The ranking of this nomenclature can have a major effect on the “perceived” value and desirability by customers. Beauty is not definable by a grading report or color description. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, different to every individual and to every colored diamond. Fancy color diamond, shape, color and idiosyncrasies are what make it beautiful and unique.

Sharing polished colored diamonds next to a piece of rough that might yield a similar color to the cut and polished diamond below it. See the 12 color varieties of natural color diamonds and their modifiers from Aurora Gems Diamond Color Variety Chart

Image courtesy of Aurora Gems – Image Photography Robert Weldon

Only a small percentage of diamonds show good saturated color, the color of diamonds is due to minute traces of other elements, or defects in the crystal structure. Nitrogen causes a yellow color, while boron causes blue. Radiation damage to the structure of diamond causes green, while pink diamonds result from dislocations with-in the crystal structure itself.

Colored diamonds are often best viewed in comparison with something that contrasts with what you want to see, not with something similar. In the case of colored diamonds, rough often does not show the color that cutting will yield. Looking at the picture of Colored Diamonds Rough & Polished, the Blue Diamond fifth from the right, shows almost a colorless rough from which a similar blue color might come once cut.

GIA grading system tends to describe colored diamonds scientifically while also making it commercially valuable. Customers want something with a Fancy Vivid nomenclature on a report, seeing the color of the stone is often not enough.

Only a third of the world’s diamonds fluoresce when exposed to UV light. The color of emitted light may be very different from the diamond’s color in normal daylight.

We will never look at a colored diamond, much less a flower, without thinking of the wonders of nature and Alan’s passion for colored diamonds.

DCGIA & NAJA both THANK Alan for sharing his passion with us all.

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NCDIA – JCK Recap – How to Maximize your business with Natural Color Diamonds!

May 29, 2015 – Las Vegas  JCK –
 SeminarPanel - JCKHeadShots
NCDIA was invited back to host a special panel seminar in part of the all new JCK Talks segment during JCK Las Vegas. NCDIA is a non-profit, membership-based organization with multi-national members including mining companies, diamond and jewelry manufacturers, designers and retailers. The NCDIA’s mission to train, enlighten and educate the global community about natural color diamonds.
This expert panel included:
  • Thomas Gelb – NCDIA
  • Jordan Fine – JFine, Inc.
  • Sean Moore – Borsheims
  • Pratima Sethi – Sethi Couture
  • Jim Pounds – Dominion Diamonds
  • Rob Bates – JCK (Moderator)

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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.

 

 

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NCDIA presents – JCKopoly! Collect and win a Free Membership and Pink Diamond Necklace!

JCKopolyCollectAttending retailers for the upcoming JCK Las Vegas trade show will have an opportunity to earn a 1 year NCDIA Retail membership and Natural Pink Diamond Butterfly Pendant by participating in NCDIA’s JCKopoly!

The retailer who collects the most stickers in the correct position will win the grand prize! In order to earn a sticker, retailers will use the NCDIA JCKopoly board as a NCDIA exhibitor list. Not only can you earn a grand prize but you will have the opportunity to visit NCDIA members to develop new vendor relationships, and to source a beautiful array of Natural Color Diamond products!

The winner will be announced during the “Night of Color: Las Vegas” event on May 30, 2015 – 9pm at MiX Lounge – Delano Hotel.

Natural Pink Diamond Butterfly Pendant –
0.19cts, all pave set in 18kt pink gold and stationed on a 18kt white gold necklace, valued at $2000!

Don’t miss this opportunity to interact with designers, wholesalers and manufacturers to learn about the latest news, trends and highlights in the world of Natural Color Diamonds!

 

NCDIA JCKopoly 2015

 

Rules/Guidelines:

Retailers attending JCK must visit exhibiting NCDIA members/affiliates to earn 1 sticker. The retailer with the most stickers in the correct position will win the grand prize of a 1 year free Retail membership and a Natural Pink Butterfly Pendant!

Retailers must return the completed form to NCDIA booth L126 for entry. The first retailer to submit a completed board will win. If no one turns in a complete board, then the retailer with the most stickers will win. The winner will be announced during the “Night of Color: Las Vegas” event on May 30, 2015 – 9pm at MiX Lounge – Delano Hotel.

In order to earn a sticker, retailers will use the NCDIA JCKopoly board as a NCDIA exhibitor list. Not only can you earn a grand prize but you will have the opportunity to visit NCDIA members to develop new vendor relationships, and to source a beautiful array of Natural Color Diamond products!

Pink Diamond Butterfly Necklace: Contains Natural Pink Diamonds with a total weight of 0.19cts, all pave set in 18kt pink gold and stationed on an 18kt white gold necklace, valued at $2000!

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