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

May 29, 2015 – Las Vegas  JCK –
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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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Seminar Series: JCK Las Vegas – How to maximize your business with Natural Color Diamonds!

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Natural Color Diamonds is the highest growth segment of the jewelry industry; and retailers carrying them realize unprecedented profits. The wide range of colors and amazing jewelry pieces span all price points – from hundreds to millions of dollars. In this session NCDIA guides you on the latest trends from their expert panel so you can grow your business with Natural Color Diamonds.

Friday May 29th – 8:30am

JCK Las Vegas – Room: Tradewinds E/F*Speakers:

Moderated by Rob Bates of JCK

  • Education – Thomas Gelb – NCDIA
  • Marketing – Jordan Fine – J.Fine, Inc.
  • Mining – Jim Pounds – Dominion
  • Selling – Sean Moore – Borsheim’s
  • Designing – Pratima Sethi – Sethi Couture

“NCDIA is providing the first real form of education on Natural Color Diamonds straight from the experts who deal with these stones on a daily basis. Having access to this level of knowledge and experience with Natural Color Diamonds is a game changer for everyone in our industry! When a retailer can speak confidently and honestly about color diamonds to their clients, their sales opportunities will increase significantly! What a great time to be involved with NCDIA!” – Gundersons

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Chasing Rainbows – Color Diamonds continue to gain ground

By Deborah Yonick – MJSA Journal

R5553 Yellow Diamond Ring

Image courtesy of Gem Platinum

Thirty years ago you couldn’t give away a color diamond, especially yellows and browns, diamond dealers quip. Now, color diamonds represent the most exciting part of the diamond business. Not only are they more widely used in fashion jewelry, color diamonds are making inroads in bridal jewelry as well. Members of the Natural Color Diamond Association share their take on what’s happening in this increasingly important niche market.

Greater Awareness

“High flying auction results and media publicity surrounding celebrities receiving and showing off color diamonds has created a huge increase in the desire for these remarkable stones,” says Jeffrey Post of Gem Platinum in New York City.

Color diamonds were among the biggest sellers in jewelry auctions in 2014. Among the highest-priced jewels auctioned off were vivid blue diamonds, with the 9.75-carat Zoe Diamond selling for more than $32 million, setting a new world auction total price record for a blue diamond. Last year also saw many record-setting rare color sales, including an 8.41-carat flawless fancy vivid pink diamond, which fetched $17.7 million, and a 100.09-carat Graff vivid yellow diamond (the largest yellow cut precious stone in the world) that sold for $16.3 million. From the world’s top auction houses to Hollywood’s major red carpets, fancy color diamonds in dazzling jewels have been everywhere. “Definitely the end consumer has become much more aware and savvy of natural color diamonds,” says Pratima Sethi of Sethi Couture in San Francisco. “This makes it more exciting for designers to create pieces knowing that consumers are not just intrigued by color diamonds, but also are appreciative of them.”

Wider Audience

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Image courtesy of Mondial Neuman

There’s been a shift in the natural color diamond market to appeal to a larger audience. “As the majority of designs incorporating pink and other natural color diamonds have been stylistically more arty, contemporary, or unusual, we’ve found that over the last five years more mainstream/everyday designs are incorporating natural color diamonds,” says Michael Neuman of Mondial Pink Diamond Atelier in Sydney, Australia. “This indicates a much wider audience has accepted color diamonds as an option.”

One area many dealers cite as a large source of color diamond growth in 2015 is bridal jewelry. An increase in color diamonds as an alternative to traditional white is appearing not just in engage- ment and wedding rings, but also in jewelry worn on the wedding day. “With consumers wanting true uniqueness, color diamonds offer that personalization,” says Sethi. “Younger clients especially appreciate the characteristics of color diamonds.”

However, to develop a niche in color diamonds, Sethi notes that it’s critical to offer various price points, and not just focus on larger statement pieces. “It’s important to note that color dia- mond jewelry can be affordable, which makes it even more inter- esting to capture a younger, newer buyer to the market, and grow them into more sophisticated color diamond jewelry.”

Dealers also expect to see customers ready to move beyond the regular fancy yellows and pinks, notes Harsh Maheshwari of Kunming Trading Co. in Hong Kong. “Brownish pinks, greenish yellows, yellowish oranges, are all items that will move this year,” he says. However, Post notes, as demand outstrips supply as more retailers enter the market segment and more consumers discover color diamonds, prices for natural color diamonds will continue to rise.

Personalization Rules

Diamonds exist in nature in almost every color. Natural color diamonds vary from the faintest shades of pastel pink, brown, or yellow to the most deep, vivid shades of blue, green, and orange, with colors such as red, purple, and black extremely rare. This range of available colors allows jewelers to easily personalize pieces for their customers.“The beauty of color diamonds is that all colors hold a unique and different appeal,” says Sethi. “From a designer’s perspective, I’ve found that someone seeking a more earthy organic style tends to favor the warm tones of champagne, cognac, golden yellow, and burnt orange. Someone seeking a more classic, traditional style and is well versed in white diamonds tends to lean in to color seeking intense yellows or canary diamonds. Someone with a more feminine and romantic aesthetic would favor pink diamonds.”

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Image courtesy of Kunming Trading Co.

Color diamonds also lend themselves to individual detailing that has personalized meaning for clients. “We’ve incorporated green diamonds to represent Irish heritage for a client, blue diamonds for the birth of a boy, and pink diamonds for baby girls,” says Rohan Milne of Rohan Jewellery in Leederville, Australia.

And not only can this personalization trend help customers stand out with unique color diamond pieces, it also helps the jewelers who create them stand out. “The vast colors, shapes, and sizes have attracted a whole new clientele to my business and really helped my jewels stand apart from other designers,” says designer Kristin Hanson of New York City. “Natural color diamonds bring fine jewelry to life and add so much possibility for design compared to classic white diamond jewelry.”

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Image courtesy of Kristin Hanson

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“Why color is becoming more popular?”

From the perspective of the NCDIA

Natural Color Diamonds have been creating more and more smiles globally; these brilliant and illuminating rare gemstones are renown for their beauty, encompassing a wonderful palate of colors.

NCDIA asked some of its members to explain why color is becoming more popular these days:

The beauty of Natural Color Diamonds is that all colors hold a unique and different appeal and it’s difficult to say that a particular color is sought after more than another. From a designer’s perspective, someone seeking a more earthy organic style tend to favor the warm tones such as champagne, cognac, golden yellow, burnt orange colors. Someone seeking a more classic traditional style and is already versed in white diamonds, tends to lean towards the next step into color diamonds with seeking intense yellows or canary diamonds. Now someone with a more feminine and romantic aesthetic would favor pink diamonds – Sethi Couture (USA)

“When you look into the dazzling facets of a color diamond, you become spellbound. It is hard to look away. Each one tells a unique story of a profound transformation of enormous energy and of endless time.”  Hartmann’s (Denmark)

Is color becoming more popular?

Yes color is becoming very popular in the states. We do a great job of promoting Natural Color and our membership with the NCDIA to our markets. I think this gives us credibility and also creates interests from our communities. We regularly have calls into the store asking questions about Natural Color! For our clients who are already shopping with us, color is becoming more popular because it is something different from what they are used to wearing. They love the fact that the quality of the individual diamond(s) and the piece is the same as their purchases in the past, but the style is unique to what they have been wearing. It’s a win-win to carry a good inventory of Natural Color in our stores! – Gunderson’s (USA)

Image Courtesy of Leibish & Co.

Retailers have been noticing that color can create smiles, why? It’s something new and different and consumers are up for a change from the traditional colorless diamonds. Natural color diamonds if presented properly can offer your customer something they can’t find just anywhere. This uniqueness makes each stone special, which in turn causes consumers to appreciate much more than colorless diamonds. – Jack Lewis Jewelers.(USA)

Fancy color diamonds are so rare that not many people know that they come in all colors of the rainbow, from the purest black to orange and pink, and just about any hues in between. In fact, they only represent 1 in every 10,000 colorless diamonds mined. However for the last five years, fancy color diamonds became much better known and sought after within the general public in comparison to the last decade. This is hugely influenced by the increasing publicity through our red carpet Hollywood stars e.g. Jennifer Lopez and her infamous 6 carat pink diamond ring. This is as such because we are currently living in a more fashion forward and glamorous world as oppose to the more traditional one. – Jurassic Jewelry (Taiwan)

What trends in jewelry use are you seeing with color diamonds? (i.e. more popular in bridal, more demand for rose gold…)

The greatest shift in trend of wearing Fancy Color Diamonds has been in everyday jewelry, usually purchased for special occasions. As the demand for newer, more versatile, more unique pieces goes up, Fancy Color Diamonds has been the number one change we see in the new settings and styles. – VMK Diamonds, LTD (Israel)

 In Australia, we have hand crafted a number of amazing pieces utilizing Argyle pink and blue diamonds, the majority of these being engagement and dress rings. It is becoming more popular to use the small pink diamonds to highlight a central white diamond. Color diamonds also lend themselves to individual detailing that has personalized meanings for clients. We have incorporated green diamonds to represent Irish heritage for a client, blue diamonds to represent the birth of a baby boy and pink diamonds for baby girls.   We have handcrafted a number of champagne and yellow diamond engagement rings over the past year. – Rohan Jewellery (Australia)

Market wide Yellows have been the most popular, people seem to be afraid of the brown diamond category, mostly because people are looking for that “pretty color” and fancy yellow is one of the best colors to start off with. Everyone likes a different flavor and we believe each Natural Color Diamond has a life of it’s own. – Dana Augustine (USA)

Should retailers take a chance and carry more color diamonds? How can they develop awareness in their stores for these stones?

Yes, I think all retailers should be carrying Natural Color. There is a huge market for it! But make sure you are educated in Natural Color. Our membership with the NCDIA was the turning point for all of our staff. NCDIA provided us with an opportunity to train each sales professional we have. This gave them the confidence to go out and sell Natural Color and today, we close these sales regularly! – Gunderson’s (USA)

The color diamond market is very unique. There are huge advantages in learning how this niche can increase businesses margins. There are no price lists for these diamonds. Experience and knowledge will need to be obtained to understand this specialized market. Once it is obtained it will clearly help in revenues and profits as well as setting the business on higher pedestal from ones competitors. – Gem Platinum (USA)

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