Latest news, interviews and visitors' testimonials from previous editions
Antwerp diamonds highly prized by Harriet Kelsall – Bespoke Jewellery
Harriet Kelsall – Bespoke Jewellery, which has studios in rural Hertfordshire and Cambridge, has sourced an array of diamond cuts from Antwerp as part of its custom-made services to clients. Winner of the Bridal Jewellery Retailer of the Year award in the 2016 UK Jewellery Awards, Harriet Kelsall says committed customer service was at the heart of the accolade which she is proud to have collected at the Hilton Park Lane in London in June. “When people come here, it’s all about the customer experience – it’s all about their story,” Harriet said, speaking inside the state-of-the-art Hertfordshire design studio which has a workshop, display cabinets, meeting areas for customers and designers, and a coffee shop. Couples who visit the studio have a story to tell — and this can be the inspiration for a bespoke engagement ring design. One couple had bonded due to their love for classic cars, in particular a 1967 Volkswagen Beetle whose distinctive headlights inspired the diamond shape in the ring that they chose. Harriet spoke of the importance of ethical options in custom-made jewellery, such as wedding bands in Fairtrade gold, and ethical rubies from a mine in Tanzania. She insists that diamonds handled by her business must adhere to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. Harriet bought a variety of diamond cuts when she last visited ADTF in 2014, including rose and princess cuts, and peach diamonds, and looks forward to visiting the show again in 2017.
World-renowned diamantaires exhibit at BrilliAnt!
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Where can your old diamonds be revived?
Answer: At BrilliAnt! A one-stop shop! Jewellers are welcome to bring their old diamonds and precious stones to have them checked, re-cut and certified at the dedicated workshop at the Fair.
Nirav Modi diamond jewellery brand makes big impact in Europe in September
The Nirav Modi Haute Joaillerie brand, which can trace roots to Antwerp, made a big impact in Europe in September with a stellar exhibition at the Biennale des Antiquaires, and the opening of its first European boutique on Old Bond Street. Art and craftsmanship are the guiding lights for the brand. The designs of Nirav Modi’s exquisite diamond jewels are inspired by his travels, nature and passion for art. Each design is hand crafted, making every Nirav Modi jewel a treasure to own. “For me, impeccable craftsmanship has to be a given and provides the tools to create works of art,” said Nirav Modi, who grew up in Antwerp as the son and grandson of diamantaires. Luminance Cascade Earings by Nirav Modi. Exhibiting for the first time at the Biennale, held at the Grand Palais from September 10 to 18, Nirav Modi created succulent pieces inspired by themes as varied as India’s former ruling dynasties, and Impressionist water lilly paintings. “Inspiration comes from so many sources – nature, art, poetry, architecture – and is sometimes found in the most unexpected of places,” he said. On September 19, a day after the Biennale, Nirav Modi opened a boutique at 31 Old Bond Street, the most prestigious end of London’s premier shopping hub — a few steps from Graff, Moussaieff and Chatila. Another distinguishing feature is that Nirav Modi has created three unique cuts of diamonds: the Endless, Ainra, and Mughal cuts. Nirav Modi pieces only use top quality, certified diamonds. Nirav Modi has been invited to the 2017 BrilliAnt Fair.
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The 8th Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair 29-31 January 2017 Discover the teaser
De Grisogono acquires “the Constellation”, the world’s most expensive rough diamond
To mark the opening of the 28th Biennale des Antiquaires, de GRISOGONO is delighted to announce the acquisition of The Constellation, the world’s most expensive rough diamond, at a press conference held in the Grand Palais today. The purchase represents a ground-breaking moment for the company in its journey to become one of the world’s leading high jewellery and watch brands. Measuring over six centimetres wide, The Constellation weighs 813-carats and was discovered by Canadian company, Lucara Diamond, at its Karowe mine in Botswana in November 2015. The gem was purchased for USD63 million earlier this year, following a competitive bidding process. (more…)
World renowned diamantaires exhibit at BrilliAnt!
Click here to visit the E-booth
Cynthia Girling, IIDGR, De Beers
When you think about Antwerp, you think about diamonds says Cynthia Girling, IIDGR, De Beers.
Interview with Valérie Messika
Fascinated and inspired by diamonds. Diamond jewelry only! Do you think you might include other precious stones in future creations? No, diamonds are in my DNA. All my creations are imagined around diamonds. I have always been fascinated and inspired by diamonds. When did you showcase your first collection and what was the creative idea behind it? We celebrated the 10th anniversary of the House Messika in 2015 with notably the opening of our first high-end jewelry workshop in the heart of Paris. My first collections were already imagined around different types of women that inspire me. The Obsession Collection is centered on heart-shaped diamonds and The Sweet Love Collection on a butterfly for the most romantic ones. Bohemian-style women will choose the Feline Collection; those preferring a minimalist style will opt for the more graphic Citizen Collection whereas audacious ladies will select the Dress Code Collection. When did you open your flagship store on Rue Saint-Honoré? The 2013 opening of the store was a highlight for Messika What types of cuts do you mostly use in your creations? Brilliant, emerald, princess cuts? I like to mix different cuts such as trillions, brilliants, emerald cuts. The cut I am particularly fond of for its softness is the oval cut. The diamonds we select, unless specified otherwise, are F-G color and VS-SI1 clarity. (more…)
Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair
Visit us in Hong Kong, at the Antwerp Diamond Pavilion AWDC booth – Hall 5 – Asiaworld.
Visit the E-booth of Fischler Diamonds
Click here to visit the E-booth of Fischler Diamonds
UK jeweller seeks fresh business opportunities at BrilliAnt!
Steve Rogers, owner of Penny Farthing Jewellers in East Grinstead, a historic southern English town, will seek fresh business opportunities and competitive pricing when he meets Antwerp diamond suppliers at the next edition of BrilliAnt in 2017. Steve, whose shop is located on the longest row of Tudor houses in England, has so far bought loose diamonds from the London bourse and some finished goods from UK manufacturers, but knows that a large proportion of his suppliers source from Antwerp. “Meeting prestigious suppliers in a formal and informal gathering as a retailer, would potentially be an immense opportunity for future business projects,” he said. “Additionally, meeting other retailers, from the UK and worldwide, is always beneficial, for an exchange of views, ideas and discussion about retailing.” A strong appeal of BrilliAnt to retailers and manufacturers is the competitive pricing of the loose diamonds available at the fair. “Due to the worldwide recognition of Antwerp as a diamonds centre, both within the trade and in the eyes of the general public, the marketing benefits would be advantageous,” Steve said. “The quality of the offering is guaranteed, and one would hope that the prices would be competitive. Comparison of prices has to be borne in mind.” Almost a third of Penny Farthing Jewellers’ turnover comes from bespoke orders, many of them including diamonds in the finished pieces. “Princess cuts are increasingly popular, as are diamond set shoulders, and white metal is still clearly leading the way,” Steve said. “We are being asked more than ever before about grading of diamonds, confirmation that they are ethically sourced, where items are made etc.” Steve recognises the importance of treating customers as individuals, which he says is a vital part of selling diamonds to the general public. “Whilst the bridal market is ever growing, the 20 to 30 year old bracket are far more fashion conscious than ever before, and lifestyle expectations have changed, resulting in the mass explosion of fashion jewellery brands and branding in general,” he said. “This should be a worry for traditional jewellers who do not adapt to, or engage their clients as individuals.” Steve looks forward to attending BrilliAnt in 2017.
Listen to Sara Ho about her new collection….
Rare colour diamonds are safe haven investments, fund manager says.
Extremely rare colour diamonds can be effective safe haven investments in the global economic and political uncertainty after Britain’s vote to leave the EU, a senior fund manager said. Philip Baldwin, managing director of Sciens Diamond Management BV, said in an interview that investments in such gems were not directly correlated to any other financial or commodity markets, and demand for the stones was driven by their rarity. “Colour diamonds are considered a safe haven,” he said. “Colour diamonds are a hedge against inflation, currency risk, market fluctuations and political uncertainty.” Along with Mahyar Makhzani, Baldwin runs the Curacao-based Sciens Coloured Diamond Fund II, a closed-end fund now closed to new investors. Entry level to the fund was USD$1 million. The fund, whose diamonds include a small collection of extremely rare red stones, rose in value by approximately 5 percent in the second quarter of 2016, he said. Diamond investment funds, open to professional investors many of whom are offshore, may acquire diamonds, which may be re-polished to improve colour and clarity, and may arrange collections to boost value. Diamonds can be loaned to jewellers who may later buy stones from a fund. Prices of vivid and intense colour diamonds have risen by 10-12 percent a year on average since 1959, Baldwin said. He said colour diamonds were likely to appeal to investors due to continuing uncertain political and economic conditions after Britain’s shock vote to leave the EU, and as the U.S. election campaign unfolds. Red diamond 1.20 cts. Argyle mine – Picture: Sciens Diamond Management BV
Amazing South-African pink diamond of 10+ cts
Amazing South-African pink diamond of 10+ cts. Before and after cutting and polishing.
Listen to Ken Fujita from Tokyo
Visitors from Japan appreciate the large choice of diamonds on display at BrilliAnt, the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair. <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/d762P_Z6lFw?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
Ella Gafter: “Diamonds are a Must”
Ella Gafter, an American with Italian descent has been a jewelry artist for more than 30 years. In fact she has built for herself a solid reputation in the very closed circle of very high jewelry, and continues to dazzle a select clientele looking for perfection and creativity in the tradition of Boivin, Belperon, Verdura and … Jar. The headquarters of her company “Ellagem” are in New York where her daughter Talila Gafter, PhD, manages the business. From her atelier on the 31st floor of a skyscraper on Fifth Avenue, Ella dominates the situation and tells us about her lifelong love story with her fetish stones, diamonds: “When I was a little girl, the shine of diamonds was mesmerizing and I continue to be fascinated. The relationship with precious stones and, of course, with a finished piece of jewelry, is personal and complicated. It is not a question of money. It is truly a love affair between you and the diamond or the jewelry piece, even if you cannot afford it. For me, it was “Love at first sight”, or “Le coup de foudre”, as they say in Paris. I am not a precious stone dealer but a jewelry designer with many years of experience, so I will speak to that art: A piece of fine jewelry is all about the proportions, an art made very complicated since the jeweler deals with miniatures which he builds with very expensive raw materials. You need to have an aesthetic intelligence, savoir-faire and fantasy all in a state of high alert to put together width, length, depth, curves, and everything has to be not only pleasing to the eye, but also smooth to the touch and a wearable adornment to the body. It took me and maestro Pierpaolo Esposito 4 years to make this incredible set “The Basilisk Snake” with fancy yellow diamonds and countless white diamonds. Imagine the complications involved in such a project, all around the issue of planning and proportions. No mistakes allowed! It is the same thing with a diamond. If it does not have the right proportions, that’s not good. It’s very tricky, both a science and an art. Personally, I do not have a favorite diamond cut. I love them all and create my jewelry around them and with them. I use a lot of Australian and Tahitian pearls, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds, in my designs. But it would never occur to me to create a piece without diamonds, sometimes as the centerpiece and always as enhancement to the beauty of the whole. What would this magnificent basket brooch executed by gran maestro Pasquale Zicchieri look like without diamonds? To me, without diamonds, there is no piece of jewelry! Diamonds are a must and they never have or will go out of fashion”. Didier Brodbeck
Facets of Mankind, the World Diamond Museum
The World Diamond Mark Foundation (WDM) announced it has built the virtual foundations of the World Diamond Museum, a unique resource in the cloud that will be bringing together and put on display an unprecedented and therefore unique collections of extraordinary diamonds and diamond jewellery – from famous stones to hidden, until now unknown pieces that deserve to be seen, admired and enjoyed by the consumer public at large. The name of the World Diamond Museum is Facets of Mankind stressing the intrinsic connection between the diamond and the human civilization. Its establishment was first announced during the recent biennial 37th World Diamond Congress that was held in Dubai in May. In presenting the concept, WDM Chairman Alex Popov said that by building the museum, the WDM will reintroduce the art of storytelling about diamonds to the consumer. “Facets of Mankind is to be a living documentary of the journey of diamonds and its relationship with the human race,” Popov commented. “In the narrative of the introductory movie, it is said that ‘in the diamond, we see ourselves, the best we can be.’ This is also what motivated the WDM and its creative team to set out on this journey.”
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Diamonds, diamonds only!
Meeting with Valentine Lecêtre in her magnificient offices on Avenue Kléber, Paris. A trio of young entrepreneurs, Valentine, her brother Julien and their friend, Jonathan, a graduate from HRD Antwerp, decided to launch a diamond jewellery line exclusively sold on the net. Valentine has an impressive track record of success despite her youth: the creation of the “CARAT Fair” for jewellery designers, book publishing and recently the exhibition “Art Paris Art Fair” which took place at the Grand Palais last March. To my question ” How was born Divinescence?”, Valentine answers: We wanted to create a top level site which would simply the purchase of jewellery and diamonds. Our credo proved successful since within a year, our small company was profitable. Our main message to our clients is Trust which we summarize in one short line: The right jewellery. Next to the traditional jewellery collections, we constantly renew our contemporary lines and we also offer loose stones in our ‘Diamond Bar’. With the creation of this niche, our site leads in terms of prices. Performance has enabled us to deliver our promise to our clients as we guarantee delivery of the jewellery piece within 2 weeks and even for a special creation. Our bestseller is the solitaire ring Daria. If you visit our website, you will see videos of our jewellery which can be viewed from different angles. Our line Haby is also very successful. We offer loose stones from 0.02 to 3 carats. They are accompanied by HRD, GIA & IGI certificates. In terms of colours, our diamond selection ranges from G to H; and VSI Clarity. Our clients can choose all gold colours: yellow, gold, grey, white and even black. Black is very fashionable and represents 30% of our sales. Platinum is also possible. We pay particular attention to our luxurious packaging design. Jewellery boxes are black. When opened, the jewel is lit up by 3 leds. Oops, I forgot the most important: All diamonds come from Antwerp! www.divinescence.com
Rare diamonds gain traction as asset class with record sales
Geneva: A blue jewellery box for the most extraordinary blue diamond of all times! GENEVA – Magnificent colour diamonds are gaining stature as an asset class due to their rarity and extraordinary beauty, achieving successive world record prices this year culminating in the landmark sale of the Oppenheimer Blue. 2016 has been the year of the blue diamond, one of the rarest of colour gems. Blues have taken centre stage at auctions around the world, starting with the sale of the 10.1-carat De Beers Millennium Blue Jewel 4 in Hong Kong on April 5 for a record price for any jewel sold at auction in Asia of US$31.8 million. Ehud Laniado, chairman of Cora International, seller of the 12.03-carat Blue Moon diamond at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva in November 2015, said he saw potential for the most rare diamonds to sell for hundreds of millions of dollars each in future years, mirroring a recent trend in the art market for such prices for the most exceptional paintings. The extraordinary prices reflect the emergence of more new billionaires than at any time in history. Provenance can be a vital component in a diamond’s valuation, said Tobias Kormind, managing director of 77Diamonds, the UK’s biggest online retailer of diamond jewellery. He said that in his view, the new owner of the Oppenheimer Blue should keep the name as it brings back memories of the time when De Beers, which was owned by the Oppenheimer family, was by far the dominant player in the industry. ADTF will showcase a selection of exquisite fancy colour diamonds in 2017.
The biggest rough diamond in the world is showcased in Antwerp!
With a weight of 1109 cts, the Lesedi La Rona Diamond is the second biggest rough diamond ever discovered. This amazing stone was extracted in Botswana last November from the Karowé mine, property of the Canadian mining Company Lucara Diamond. The presence of the Lesedi La Rona in Antwerp highlights the leading position of the city as World Diamond Center! The first place in the row of the biggest diamonds ever found is hold by the Cullinan, mined 110 years ago in South Africa. This 3000+ cts stone was cut in 1908 in several superb loose stones that have adorned the British Crown Jewels for more than a century.
Diamonds are central to offering of UK high street multiple jeweller F Hinds
Classic cuts and styles remain the most popular, director Andrew Hinds tells ADTF. Andrew, who has visited the Antwerp Fair twice, was elected chairman of the UK jewellery trade body the National Association of Goldsmiths in 2014. F. Hinds’ more than 100 stores across England and Wales serve over 2 million customers a year. Why is diamond jewellery an important part of the offering of F. Hinds? While we stock a wide range of products, including other precious metal and fashion jewellery collections as well as watches and gifts, diamonds are central to our range. This is because we are sixth generation jewellers and have been selling diamonds for over 150 years. We have customers who tell us their parents and grandparents bought their engagement rings and other important jewellery from our family and we want to continue to be there to help them at the major life events at which only diamonds will do! As a director of a leading high street multiple jeweller, what changes in tastes for diamond jewellery designs are you seeing? Are certain cuts becoming increasingly popular? We are still finding that the classic cuts and styles are the most popular, particularly when buying jewellery for the most important occasions such as engagements where the wearer expects to continue to wear the piece for the rest of their life. However, there is also a trend towards unique or individual pieces and, as diamond experts, we are catering for this through our bespoke design service and assortment of fancy cut stones. This means that a small but increasing percentage of our diamond sales is coming through individual made-to-order pieces and not just the core range of styles that we keep in stock across all stores. What are the advantages of being a sizeable retailer in terms of sourcing diamonds? We find that we are quite a good size – large enough to go a long way back up the supply chain in terms of sourcing both finished jewellery and loose stones, but not so large that we aren’t able to take advantage of opportunities, both in terms of small parcels of diamonds or one-off batches of finished product which our suppliers sometimes find they have available. These opportunities may be time consuming to manage, but they enable us to pass on savings to the end consumer and to offer something different from our core range.
Asia auction record highlights robust demand for rare BLUE DIAMONDS “Blue diamonds of any intensity of colour are amongst the rarest of all gems. Highly saturated blue diamonds over ten carats combined with an Internally Flawless clarity grade are extremely rare. There have been fewer and fewer new rough diamonds discovered over the last decade that produce this colour. Most of the recent diamonds offered for sale in this category are coming from private collections—not diamond mines.” Tom Moses, Executive Vice President and Chief Research and Laboratory Officer, GIA A record price achieved on April 5 for any jewel sold at auction in Asia, highlights the strength of demand for blue diamonds. Sotheby’s sold the 10.1 carat fancy vivid blue diamond, the De Beers Millennium Jewel 4, for US$31.8 million in Hong Kong. “Diamonds” author Marijan Dundek said, “Since the sale of the Wittelsbach blue diamond, and then last November the Blue Moon for US$48.4 million, demand for the rarest of gems has exploded.” Auction sales of blue diamonds this year will include the Oppenheimer Blue, the largest and finest Fancy Vivid Blue diamond ever offered at auction. “Blue diamonds are the rarest in the world after the reds,” Dundek said. “This year will be remembered as a year of a blue.” “The April sale was a positive signal for the industry”, said Ehud Laniado, chairman of Cora International, which sold the Blue Moon. “When the Blue Moon broke all records when it sold, it set the tone for a new level of pricing for all rare and high quality blue diamonds,” Laniado said.
A new chapter in investment diamonds
During the past few years, consumers have been told that this is the time to invest in diamonds. A flurry of companies has arisen, offering consumers an opportunity to invest in the most desirable categories of polished, colorless diamonds, most often larger than two carats, in the highest color, clarity and cut ranges. Arguing that the production of rough diamonds is dwindling, and that the supply of the top categories will decrease, prices, the investment firms say, will inevitably go up sharply and therefore, diamond are a solid investment. Most industry experts, one way or another, seem to agree with this contention. But what about natural coloured diamonds? Nicholas Weinberg, of Level Diamonds, an exhibitor at the upcoming Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair, says that to the best of his knowledge, nobody has yet come up with an investment proposal involving natural coloured diamonds. “Only one out of every 10,000 diamonds mined and polished is a natural coloured diamond,” Weinberg noted. “That makes them the rarest of diamonds in the market. And coloured diamonds are consistently outperforming colourless diamonds, and for that matter, the top three coloured gemstones, i.e. sapphire, ruby and emerald. “We have put together a number of ‘natural coloured diamonds investment packages’ that we will be exhibiting at the ADTF next week. We are excited to be presenting this new project in Antwerp!” he said.
A quick interview with Stephane Fischler, Chairman of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre
We are about to hold the Seventh Edition of the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair. Time for a quick review: What do you see in your crystal ball? The concept of the ADTF has proven a unique opportunity to bring diamond buyers – jewellery retailers and manufacturers from all over the world to the diamond district and make themselves feel at home in our streets and bourses. The Fair is a formidable opportunity to understand what a powerhouse house Antwerp is in the diamond trade. Our greatest challenge is to ensure that diamonds continue to be desired by the end consumer. Compared to a decade ago or so, all players in the diamond manufacturing and trading business now understand that in order to preserve consumer desire for natural diamonds, we need to invest in consumer research and consequently build promotional campaigns and advertising projects. This is not achieved overnight, but I am happy to see that such efforts undertaken both by miners and our own business community have accelerated and taken shape. Clearly, we will need to work much closer with retailers, be perceptive of their needs and as well as consumers’ desires so that we can work together to preserve the diamond consumer market and also expand it. The AWDC has played an active and central role in these marketing efforts and will continue to do so.
Laser inscriptions: Carved in diamond forever!
Laser inscriptions have very little to do with Star Wars or The Force, but are perhaps more important for your diamonds than you think. A standard laser inscription is a combination of letters and numbers “engraved” in a diamond using a laser. In most cases it is marked on the stone’s girdle (Fig. 1), but other parts such as the crown or even the table are possible although highly unusual (Fig. 2). A laser is a high-energy bundle of light which is used to “burn” the symbol onto the diamond. The burning process is actually a “graphitisation” of the surface, where the strong carbon-carbon bounds of diamonds are destroyed. HRD Antwerp Diamond Lab uses a “cold” laser with a wavelength of 193 nm. It allows very precise inscriptions. The letters and numbers of a standard inscription are around 50 µm in height, and only a few microns in depth. For comparison: an average human hair has a thickness of around 70 micron. It needs to be stressed that a laser inscription does not affect the overall appearance or the clarity grade of the diamond. Laser inscription can also be removed by repolishing the stone, a service that HRD Antwerp also provides. Every year HRD Antwerp inscribes several tens of thousands of diamonds. Laser inscriptions are more and more in demand because of a number of reasons: Security: The combination of letters and numbers serves as a unique ID that helps to identify a particular stone if needed, because the letters and numbers are the same as the ones on the accompanying certificate. This makes it easier for the client to verify if they’re dealing with the correct diamond. So in most cases a laser inscription is used as a protection against fraud, as diamonds are usually laser inscribed by the grading lab at which they are certified. Recently the market has seen an increase of treated and lab-grown diamonds available for the end consumer. Also in these cases the laser inscription is used to clearly differentiate between natural, treated and laboratory-grown diamonds. Synthetic diamonds get a laser inscription “Lab Grown [certificate number]” stones that have been HPHT treated are characterized by “HPHT [certificate number]”. Branding: More and more laser inscription are used as a branding or marketing tool. Usually the name of the company or the special cut (Fig. 3) and/or logo are inscribed. In the beginning of the 2000’s, for example, in the wake of the Conflict Diamond Issue, Sirius Diamonds, a Canadian company, engraved small polar bears on their stones to emphasize the conflict-free origin of their diamonds. Personal comments: Besides the branding done by companies, some clients like to add personal messages, or even a photograph. Writing “I love you!” on a diamond does make it more forever! Carved in stone, so to speak…(Fig. 4).
Interview with Massimo Gismondi
Size and colour first and foremost! Massimo Gismondi is a stone enthusiast and an accomplished gemmologist. He regularly visits the main centres for gemstone sales such as Antwerp, where he often goes.Gems are his true passion, and he would definitely splurge on a favourite.President of the eponymous house, he represents the seventh generation in charge.He granted an interview to the organisers of the Antwerp Trade Fair. “We are certainly one of the oldest jewellers in Italy. Our house, in Genoa, was founded in 1754; my ancestors were first goldsmiths, whose clientèle was the clergy and the Vatican.The trade of jeweller came later, in the 19th century – and we have been at the same address since 1871. “Always Genoese at heart, we have great projects to develop our brand. In 2011, we opened our second store in Portofino. In 2012, St Moritz, Switzerland was next, and this year, our name shines on Albemarle Street, just off Old Bond Street in London. All our jewellery pieces are “made in Italy” in our workshops in Genoa and in Valenza.” “I especially like precious stones, Burma rubies, Columbian and Pakistani emeralds, as well as Paraiba tourmalines, tanzanites, lesser known stones which I love to present to my clientèle. However, diamonds still have the leading role in our collections. When I choose them, my two areas of predilection are “cut” size and colour.I am already delighted at the thought of finding beauties at the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair.”
Visitors at the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair will have the privilege of attending an exceptional evening, on Sunday 31 January 2016!
Hand-crafted diamond jewels imagined by HRD Award winners or nominees will once again be presented in Antwerp this year, during the opening evening of the Antwerp Diamond Night, organised by the AWDC. This evening, which will take place on 31 January, marks the culmination of the program offered to visitors at the 2016 Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair. Trade Fair visitors will have the pleasure of seeing a completely original mise en scène of avant-garde jewellery creations, as part of a show filled with colour. These works of art were unveiled in Antwerp this past 29 October, during the 17th HRD Awards, the renowned international diamond jewellery contest, held in Antwerp every other year. Its purpose is to encourage creative talent, while expanding the limits of contemporary design of diamond set jewellery. The HRD Awards offer a platform for young jewellery creators, enabling them to gain international visibility. They promote diamonds and high-end jewellery around the world. Thanks to the support of companies based in Antwerp or elsewhere in the world, the designers had the opportunity to use diamonds in their creations. For the 2015 HRD Awards, HRD Antwerp suggested that the designers/creators find inspiration in their culinary heritage, in order to produce dazzling diamond jewellery. Among the record number of 1531 candidates, the jury, made up of diamond industry experts, selected 29 designers/creators who were given the opportunity to bring their designs to life. The main sponsor of the HRD Awards, TESIRO, is an internationally recognized Chinese jewellery company.
Interview with Alain Némarq, CEO of Mauboussin
Happiness or Bust In his new offices installed in a townhouse built in 1831, which looks more like a contemporary art gallery than a work place, I met with Alain Némarq, who for the past decade has presided over the jeweller Mauboussin, founded in 1827. Mr. Némarcq, what do diamonds represent for you? “Diamond are synonymous with happiness and also a token of personal success. Ten years ago, when I took over the company’s management, coloured gemstones were in favour. This year, however, diamond jewellery as well as diamond watches will represent 80% of sales. Before we parted, Alain spoke to me about his second book, which was just released under the title “Le bonheur sinon rien” (in English: Happiness or Bust). This brought us full circle, and we wish him great success.
Crown Her your Queen! By VannaK
Vanna Kitsinian, the Leading Californian bridal jewellery designer talks to ADTF. ADTF: Vanna, please tell us about your background VK: I am of Armenian origin. My family established a fine jewellery manufacturing firm, S.A. Kitsinian some 40 years ago in Los Angeles. The pursuit of excellence and artistry in craftmanship have been hallmarks to our family-run company. Designing came naturally to me. ADTF: How do you select your diamonds? VK : Our diamond buyer searches for the most beautiful diamonds and gems. Thereafter, I go through his selection and hand-pick the ones I want to use in my pieces. I use from VS quality G color diamonds and up. ADTF: Your collections feature diamond jewellery with rare stones set in intricate vintage-inspired designs. VK: Designing vintage-inspired jewelry gives me the opportunity to create very detail-oriented pieces which I love! For me, details make the design of a piece and elevate if from an ordinary piece of jewelry to an extraordinary piece of art. ADTF: Where do you draw your inspiration from? VK: I travel a lot and have been fortunate to visit some of the most beautiful places in the world. I try to infuse the beauty of ancient monuments and structures I see on my travels into the mountings of my rings which gives them an additional old-world feel. ADTF: The hot new trend in the US is the two-tone engagement ring. Why is it so popular in the US? VK: Two-tone rings offer women the opportunity to have it all because they do not have to choose between different options of precious metal colors. Additionally, from a design and aesthetic perspective, creating two-tone rings truly accentuates the details in my vintage rings, including the ornate side galleries, the hand engraved details, the milgrain etching and the halos. Accenting these elements with varying colors using rose and yellow gold makes my creations stand apart. ADTF: Thank you Vanna for your time. We look forward to welcoming your brother Arch Kitsinian to the Fair next January 31st!
Informative breakfast about Lab-Grown Diamonds
Confidence is a key value: The display of synthetic diamonds is strictly forbidden at the Antwerp Diamond Fair! The most pervasive changes and developments we have witnessed in the diamond grading and certification landscape are all focused around the field of man-made diamonds. Whether you refer to them as ‘synthetic diamonds’, ‘man-made diamonds’ or ‘laboratory-grown diamonds’, the undisputable fact is that these stones are chemically, physically and optically identical to their counterparts that are mined naturally. There are 2 distinct technologies to manufacture man-made diamonds, High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD). The former technology has been around for much longer than the latter, and HPHT-produced stones were initially relatively easy to detect by the experienced diamantaire; however, this is no longer the case anymore. CVD diamonds and the latest HPHT man-made diamonds are much more problematic to identify as, for the first time ever, experienced diamantaires who are looking at colourless or near-colourless diamonds have almost no way of determining whether they are looking at a natural or man-made diamond. Since 2014, the main topic of discussion in all the diamond centers has been the undisclosed mixing of small synthetic stones into parcels of natural diamonds. At most of our worldwide labs we have seen a slow but steady increase in the submissions of small sizes (down to 1 point). Although the total numbers are not alarming, the pace of growth of these submissions has been picking up. An informative conference on Lab Grown Diamonds will be given by Jean-Mathieu Mangnay – IGI , during the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair on Monday February 1st at 9 am at the Radisson Blu Antwerp.
The House of Mozafarian: 3 Centuries of Fine Art in Jewellery!
ADTF: Bahareh, your family history is fascinating. From Switzerland to Persia in its early stages and today in London and Dubai, Mozafarian has been the jewellers of kings and queens, dignitaries, wealthy patrons, A-listers and discerning customers across the world. The Mozafarian Royal Set from the 1060s is one of the most important example of 20th c. Islamic Art. Tell us about your collections today. BM: At Mozafarian, we keep up to date with current market trends and styles. Many of our clients are looking for more innovative styles, funky and desirable to the eye rather than classical styles. We work closely with our Italian artisans to create unusual and attractive pieces of jewellery with the most precious gemstones in the world. Since the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate, sapphires have come back into fashion and we are now creating beautiful jewellery combining sapphires and diamonds. Our bridal jewellery still emanates from simplicity and purity in its style, so the classical solitaire brilliant cut diamond is still very popular. However, intense yellow diamonds have now become popular for the perfect engagement ring. We create many bespoke diamond engagement rings with beautiful vivid or natural fancy yellow cushion cut diamonds. The gorgeous contrasting colors of peacock yellow which is metaphorical of fire in ones’ passion and the white diamonds encrusting the beautiful gem portrays the purity of love. ADTF: What do your Middle-Eastern customers favour compared to your European clientèle? BM: Our clients wish to have top quality stones, so if they wish to order a 1.00 ct brilliant cut diamond or 17 carat brilliant cut, the diamonds must be at least colour of H, Clarity VVS with the triple EX specification and Nil Fluorescence. Our clients from the Middle-East tend to favour pear-shaped diamonds and marquise cut. They ask us to look for special stones such as pink, blue and vivid yellow diamonds which are perfect for investments. These stones are for our niche clients. Our European clients love the layout of asschers and cushion cuts. ADTF: Where is your jewellery manufactured? Is it affordable? BM: Yes, it is very affordable. We have three workshops, one in Hatton Gardens, London, one in Valenza, Italy and one in Gold Souk, Dubai. So we create at different price points but we always keep the highest manufacturing standards. The more important pieces are created in our workshop in Valenza as Italian handcraftsmanship is world-renowned. ADTF: Thanks Bahareh for your precious time. We look forward to welcoming you to the Fair next January 31st, 2016!
Cut in Antwerp!
The Lucére®, Exceptionally Brilliant! Antwerp Diamond manufacturing firm, Krochmal & Lieber’s dream was to create an exclusive cut with exceptional brilliance and light refraction. The quest led to the Lucére®: A square or rectangular cut diamond with the brilliance of a traditional round cut. The Lucére®’s revolutionary design incorporates a total of 65 facets: 25 facets on the crown and 40 facets on the pavilion facilitating light penetration and reflection. Thanks to its cut corners, the elegant Lucréce® can be set in jewellery pieces without risking any breakages. The Lucére® can be worn on casual as well as special occasions, displaying an extraordinary light output that distinguishes it from other cuts. Thanks to their “Know-How”, the three-generation-old cutting & polishing firm, Krochmal & Lieber, has already successfully created several exclusive cuts for Beauty and Exclusivity. Bespoke commissions are upon request.
Jewellers love diamonds from Antwerp
Premier Italian Jewellery, Zydo’s CEO, Jack Zybert, on what makes jewels exceptional. ADTF: Women all over the world love your pieces. How do you account for this? JZ: Zydo’s stunning jewellery collections highlight classic elegance with a refreshed sense of modern sophistication. Women are very savvy and knowledgeable customers. They are deeply aware of what constitutes a product with superior and lasting craftsmanship as well as the intrinsic value that a jewel made with higher quality diamonds and precious stones command. ADTF: Please give us 3 tips on jewellery gift-giving JZ: I would recommend to 1. Select a gift from a reputable jewellery brand with a history of excellence; 2. Look closely at the profile of the wearer to be in full adequacy with his or her lifestyle and 3. Get the brand’s assurance that it will stand behind their pieces of jewellery even years in the future. ADTF: What are the three main points you consider when designing a piece? JZ: The most important factor is our History. The past informs and shapes the future of each of our collections. Every piece of jewellery we produce is consistent with the highest standards we have set for our extraordinary creations, namely: superior craftsmanship, remarkable diamond and gemstone quality and outstanding innovative design. All the family members are involved in the process with Roberto Zybert who runs the production, Eli Zybert who manages Zydo’s operations in the Americas, and I, in Europe and Asia. The three of us are particularly instrumental in the design process based on market indications, fashion trends and of course, the final customer. Finally, each and every jewel is again inspected by Mr Davide Zybert for the ultimate seal of approval ensuring that every Zydo jewel is truly a work of art.
Diamonds & Awards
Winner and finalists of the HRD Awards 2015 revealed during grand prize ceremony in Antwerp – November 2015 On Thursday October 29th, Peter Macken, CEO of HRD Antwerp, Ludo Van Campenhout, Vice Mayor of Antwerp, Governor Cathy Berx en Richard Shen, CEO of Tesiro, presented the winner of the 17th edition of the HRD Awards. The gala event took place in The Shop in Antwerp and was hosted by Véronique De Kock. The HRD Awards is the world’s leading biennial diamond jewellery contest organized by HRD Antwerp. It aims to foster creative talent while extending the limits of contemporary diamond jewellery design. The HRD Awards provides a platform for up and coming jewellery designers to gain international exposure and promotes diamonds and diamond jewellery worldwide. Due to the support of both Antwerp based as well as international diamond companies, designers were given the opportunity to work with diamonds. For the 2015 edition of the HRD Awards, HRD Antwerp invited designers to find inspiration with their own culinary heritage in order to produce brilliant diamond jewels. Out of a record number of 1531 entries, a jury of industry experts selected 29 designers who had the opportunity to put their design into production. These designs have also been on display in the Belgian Pavilion at the World Expo in Milan. Highlight of the evening was the announcement of the winner and the four finalists. Tomoko Kodera from Japan was awarded the first prize and 10.000$ for “Rice Husks” a brooch containing 400 handmade rice husks. The other finalists are Shu Liang, from China, Evi Bakker from the Netherlands, Freeman Johnson from China. Sancha Livia Resende from Brazil was the winner of the public voting award. All four finalists received a prize of 2500$. Main sponsor of the HRD Awards is TESIRO, an international renowned Chinese jewellery company. Recently Mr Shen, CEO of TESIRO, was also honoured with the “Officer in the order of Leopold” decoration in merit of his significant personal contribution in regards promoting the Belgian diamond heritage in China. “TESIRO is dedicated to the promotion of Belgian Cut diamonds. The sales of our exclusive Blue Flame diamond which have been developed in Antwerp is breaking all sales records within the Chinese jewellery industry. The HRD Awards certainly contributes to bringing more brilliant ideas to the Chinese and the world jewellery industry” said TESIRO CEO Richard Shen. “Consumers worldwide are increasingly becoming aware of the importance of quality and authenticity, especially when it concerns buying diamond jewellery. Quality and authenticity is exactly what HRD Antwerp is promoting through its diamond certificates and jewellery reports. The introduction of the HRD Awards will help us to further develop our business opportunities, by opening doors and connecting by means of the magic of diamond jewellery“ concludes Peter Macken, CEO of HRD Antwerp. About TESIRO TESIRO is an internationally renowned jewellery company very active in promoting the Belgian diamond sector. TESIRO currently operates more than 500 stores in China. TESIRO’s internationally renowned diamond cut “Blue Flame” is the result of a close collaboration between Antwerp and China. Every “Blue Flame” diamond comes with an HRD Antwerp Certificate and is exclusively sold by TESIRO in China
Would you fancy a vivid blue diamond?
Sale of “Blue Moon” underscores strength of top tier diamond market GENEVA, November 2015 – The sale of the Blue Moon, an extremely rare and flawless 12.03-carat Fancy Vivid blue diamond, for a world record price for a gemstone at auction of $48.4 million, highlights the strength of the top tier diamond market. In an exhilarating two-way bidding war at the Sotheby’s sale in Geneva on November 11, the audience gasped as the bids moved ever higher into world record territory, and a loud round of applause in the packed hall followed when the hammer came down on the sale to a Hong Kong buyer. The previous record belonged to the 24.78-carat Graff Pink, which sold for $46.20 million in November 2010. The Blue Moon, later renamed the “Blue Moon of Josephine” by the Hong Kong buyer, set a world record for any jewel at more than $4 million per carat. The previous day, a Chinese client based in Hong Kong bought an extraordinary 16.08-carat Vivid Fancy pink diamond at a Christie’s auction in Geneva for $28.55 million, above the estimate. This was a world record for any pink diamond ever offered at auction. Previously, the highest price paid for any blue diamond sold at auction was $32.6 million for the Zoe Diamond in November 2014. As a store of value, the world’s most magnificent and collectable diamonds and gemstones have proven to be bulletproof investments in recent years, achieving world record prices per carat at auction. So just how rare is the Blue Moon? After the sale, Ehud Laniado, chairman of New York-based jeweller Cora International LLC, the seller of the stone, said: “The Blue Moon diamond is a true gift of nature. The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) has graded 400 blue diamonds and only four have been graded vivid blue. “So even amongst this extremely rare class of blue diamonds, to find one Vivid Blue diamond which is over 12 carats and internally flawless, really only happens once in a blue moon. Lanadio said it took Cora experts five months to assess the rough stone originally unearthed from the Cullinan mine in South Africa. They then created 30 models of the diamond and cut each one differently until they achieved the perfect result. It took three more months to bring the Blue Moon diamond to its ultimate spectacular shape using advanced technology and sophisticated tools. “A jeweller has the chance to handle a unique diamond like this only once in a lifetime if they’re lucky and we are thrilled at Cora to have had this opportunity,” Lanadio said.
Diamonds & Technology: The HRD Antwerp M Screen
Peter Macken, CEO of HRD Antwerp NV, gave an interview to the ADTF Newsletter editors about its latest screening device for synthetic diamonds. With the device, HRD is at the forefront of providing practical and affordable technological solutions to the diamond industry and trade. ADTF: Who will use the M-Screen? PM: The M-Screen has been designed to screen parcels of melee diamonds (0.01 to 0.20 ct.). This indirectly means that most of the M-Screen units will be employed within environments processing a high capacity of melee goods such as diamond polishing companies or diamond jewellery manufacturers. ADTF: How does M-Screen’s introduction in the market impact the diamond and diamond jewellery industry? PM: The technology required to grow diamonds within a controlled laboratory environment has been around for decades but was until recent primarily used to produce industrial diamonds. As the technology matured and overall manufacturing costs decreased, the production of gem quality laboratory-grown (synthetic) diamonds has now become a financially viable option. Therefore, with the introduction of larger quantities of synthetic diamonds entering the market, the demand for affordable technology that can separate natural diamonds from their lab-grown counterparts has been answered by our firm and the M Screen, which was developed by WTOCD, the Antwerp research centre for diamonds, will be commercialized by HRD Antwerp! ADTF: What significance will the M-Screen bring to the jewellery industry in China? PM: The significant economic growth China has experienced throughout recent years has exponentially increased overall consumer purchasing power which directly fuelled the domestic diamond and diamond jewellery market. As a result, jewellery manufacturers were to process large batches of small diamonds at once which, until now, were difficult to screen for lab-grown diamonds, potentially treated diamonds or simulants. This means that in the past there most likely has been some contamination of natural melee diamond parcels. The M-Screen provides a super-fast screening solution, enabling traders and manufactures alike to screen large melee parcels. This will undoubtedly enhance trust throughout the diamond pipeline on both the Chinese as well as the export market.
Diamonds and Tears
It could be the title of an American movie. We met with Sophie Mizrahi-Rubel in Paris during the launch of John Rubel’s magnificent collection in Paris, Vancouver and soon New York. The granddaughter of New York fine jeweler, John Rubel, the highly talented craftsman well-known by his peers on Place Vendôme for the Van Cleef & Arpels’ ballerina brooches talks to ADTF: ADTF: Sophie, What comes to your mind when talking about diamonds? At the question, Sophie flushed and a tear drop formed in the corner of her eye. SM-R: When I think about diamonds, I cannot help but cry because I see my grandfather and this bring back so many fond memories. Our family house was in Medan near Emile Zola’s and where I found archives hidden away in a trunk which inspired me to revive the brand. My grandfather worked all the time including on weekends. He would open all the small packages to check that there was not a single diamond left, no matter how small. My grandfather was my teacher and a great source of inspiration. He taught me how to love and treasure this precious stone like no other. Once I completed my studies, I started my own company and worked for the big jewellery houses on Place Vendôme. They would order jewellery pieces that I would create in my workshop and turn into finished jewellery. I would proudly show them to my grandfather who would not look at the craft behind them but would ask: “How many carats?” and add :”You are like your great uncles, you like to create”. Diamonds are for me reminiscent of many wonderful and precious memories. I was tempted to claim for John Rubel’s creative talent when he launched his brand in the United States in 1942. It was a joyful and vibrant Art Deco style collection with colourful pieces. My collection: “Vies de Bohème” is a modest tribute to my family. In my research, I have come across famous French poet’s Paul Fort’s words: “The Diamond Magicians” and dedicated them to Jean and Robert Rubel. Diamonds have been part of our lives for the past 5 generations. Today, my clients ask me to transform all-diamond grand classic pieces of jewellery into new pieces which I am crafting for my future collection. Diamonds are Rubel’s best friends.
“I want people to believe in miracles” said Victor Moiseikin. Victor Moseikin, the Russian owner of eponymous fine jewellery brand Moiseikin talked to ADTF during the Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair last September. ADTF: What’s your definition of jewellery? VM: Jewellery is Art. I create jewellery in the great Russian tradition. We must keep Russian luxury traditions. We try and create new traditions of XXIst c. Russian luxury. I am striving for beauty because when you create beauty, you expand your perception of this beautiful planet and we become richer. Jewellery is about emotions. It’s a perpetual quest for beauty. ADTF: How do you create a piece of jewellery VM: First, I have to be inspired then I work and translate my ideas into a piece of jewellery. I am passionate about stones so I search for the perfect stones. I spend between 3 months to 3 years to create and craft the perfect piece using innovative techniques and I am never satisfied! Imperfection brings perfection so I continuously seek to improve the jewellery I make. I put my entire soul, heart and mind into each one of my creations. I am rewarded when I see my clients happy. It’s great to share those moments of happiness with them. ADTF: What type of diamonds will you be looking for at the annual Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair next January 31st, 2016? What about natural fancy colour diamonds and which colour do you favour at the moment? VM: We are looking for big diamonds and small ones too (over 2 mm). We are interested in white diamonds between 2 to 5 carats. We also want to use fancy colour diamonds in new innovative settings such as the Waltzing Brilliance Collection which we have just patented. Fancy colour diamonds are more and more attractive to our clients now and especially pink ones! ADTF: Thank you Victor. We very much look forward to welcoming you to the Fair in Antwerp next year!
Lorenz Bäumer talks to ADTF on why he prefers to set diamonds in his jewellery
Place Vendôme Jeweller, Lorenz Bäumer, talks to ADTF on why he prefers to set diamonds in his jewellery. ADTF: Mr Bäumer, Why do you have such a predilection for diamonds? LB: In my view, diamonds eclipse all other gemstones. Diamonds are the brightest, the most durable, the hardest and the most precious of all stones. A diamond is intriguing and speaks to our imagination. I find that when I speak to a client about rubies or emeralds, it is difficult to engage or enthuse him or her. Therefore, when I established my own brand, I have always given preference to diamonds, and in particular to fancy colour diamonds as they offer an impressive palette of colours, hues and tones. Of course, it is the skilled crafstman that cuts and polishes diamonds who turns the diamond from an almost inert piece of rough into a sparkling diamond, full of life! I have used diamonds in all shapes and sizes, in all their glory: as center stones as well as in pavé settings… Lately, we have developped a new technology enabling us to engrave a message or a drawing on the table of the diamond. A new way to ensure the message lasts forever. Whilst my clients request brilliants, personnaly I prefer cushion-shaped diamonds. I also like flat diamonds because a design can be engraved on the table. The biggest diamond I have ever set in a jewel was about 15 carats. Let’s turn back though to fancy colour diamonds. I draw a lot of pleasure from playing with them and setting them together in harmony for example a chocolate-coloured diamond next to cognac-coloured and tea rose pink-coloured diamonds! When you have the privilege of handling all these stones, it is sheer happiness to create jewellery pieces and see light spring into a rainbow of colours. No other gemstone can offer you this sight!
Diamonds are part of Sarah Ho’s signature style
Award-winning designer Sarah Ho, who has been invited to attend ADTF in 2016, speaks about her latest diamond jewellery design projects and her recent Diamonds in Design award at International Jewellery London (IJL) in 2015. Sarah, tell us about your IJL Diamonds in Design award. The Editor’s Choice Award takes place each year at IJL and to be a winner is very special and attracts great coverage in the press. This year, in particular, we were honoured with the Diamonds in Design Award as a special category to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Show. Having just launched our ‘Numerati Collection’, which is a new concept for lucky number rings, we decided to create a bespoke version for the competition, which is the number ‘60’ in 18ct rose gold with brilliant cut diamonds. The diamonds twist and turn in each ring to form each number from 1 to 9 which is clearly visible when the rings are on display or held but when they are worn, the number becomes a hidden secret on the finger and is significant and special to the person wearing it. What can you tell us about your latest diamond jewellery projects? Are you introducing a new diamond jewellery collection, or focusing mainly on bespoke commissions? We are focusing on expanding the bespoke side of the business as well as creating a number of special Couture pieces as we have a few private client events scheduled towards the end of the year. Diamonds are definitely the hero of these new one-off masterpieces and will feature prominently at these events. On the bespoke side, we are launching a very exciting concept of ‘Portrait Jewels’. Each collection I design is inspired by the different chapters in my life and has a story to tell. I am creating my autobiography but through jewellery. I want to share this experience with my clients. It’s like an artist painting a portrait but I create a piece of jewellery instead. I spend time with them, getting to know about them, their life story, memorable times, their favourite gemstones and the different chapters in their life and then I create a ‘Portrait Jewel’ that tells that story. It results in a unique piece of jewellery that is special to them and will be cherished forever. Why are diamonds important to you in your work? Diamonds have always featured in my jewellery collections and one–off masterpieces under the Sarah Ho Couture brand. As a designer, I love colour and what better way than to express this passion than with diamonds! I especially love the fancy pink coloured diamonds and my collections include champagne and cognac stones. Fine lines of diamonds feature in all my 18ct gold collections. I like the way they bring a design to life and add movement as they flow through the piece. It’s become part of my signature style.
“Recipe for a best-selling diamond” Interview with Philippe Tournaire, a regular visitor at the Fair.
The recipe is fairly simple: you take a good handful of round diamonds of between 0.10 and 1 carat. In your travel guide, you look for the country that best symbolises luxury to foreigners, France for example. And within this country, you opt for the most romantic city that’s a magnet for newly-wed couples from all over the globe. It’s Paris, of course! And synonymous with Paris is the Eiffel Tower… which is where it all started, on the banks of the Seine, for jeweller Philippe Tournaire. I’ll leave him to tell his story. One fine spring day, I was relaxing on the lawn of the Champs de Mars, admiring the Iron Lady’s architecture from below, when suddenly, it came to me. Why not make a solitaire ring by mounting a diamond between 4 pillars; it seemed such an obvious, clichéd idea that I was sure someone must have already done it. So I very nearly abandoned it there and then. A few years later, however, I designed an engagement ring that I christened “French Kiss” (since the Eiffel Tower brand name was protected). While I felt it might not suit the French public, I thought it might appeal to an Asian clientele. I contacted a distributor in Beijing who supplies 300 jewellery stores. It was an immediate success, with sales of these diamond rings soon running into thousands. The design was also extended to earrings and pendants (under licence). It therefore seemed a good idea to test out the French market, so in 2007, we started offering the ring at our three stores in Montbrison, Lyon and Place Vendôme. Hundreds of them were quickly snapped up by young couples. The “French Kiss” ring is now available from numerous jewellers across France and is currently our number one-selling item. My son Mathieu, who travels a great deal, is intrigued by a new trend that’s spreading worldwide: love locks. People have attached thousands of these padlocks to the Pont des Arts in Paris, Brooklyn Bridge, the Great Wall of China and also in Eastern European countries… It’s spreading like wildfire. In 2013, Mathieu launched a gold collection with diamond paving and several designs with a solitaire mounted on the lock. ‘Lock and Love’ was born. We put them on sale at our three stores, along with 200 provincial jewellers. Over a thousand love-struck couples have since been tempted by these “made in Montbrison – France” pendants. Both these successes are based on a very simple recipe: the famous three-step rule: 1 Choose the diamond, the stone that symbolises Love 2 Add a “Touch of Paris”, global capital of Love 3 Create jewellery that symbolises Love QED
Attitudes of Indian and Chinese consumers to jewellery are starting to change, designer Pallavi Foley says
Pallavi Foley, one of India’s leading jewellery designers who uses diamonds in her highly imaginative creations and has been invited to the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair in 2016, sees a growing appreciation of design by Indian and Chinese jewellery consumers. Pallavi is renowned for her avant-garde jewellery pieces and international award-winning jewels. She creates hand-crafted sculptural jewels in her studio and boutique in Bangalore, and works as a design consultant to Indian and international jewellery brands. “The attitudes and tastes of Eastern customers are drastically different from those in the West,” Pallavi says. In the West, jewellery is bought as a fashion accessory, while in India and China it is bought primarily as an investment still, she said. Consumers in India and China represent a vast and growing market for diamond jewellery purchases. Fashion has grown in importance as a driver of consumer tastes only recently. In India, traditional jewellery designs were based on repetition of motifs and traditional techniques. “Indian and Chinese consumers have now considerably changed their perceptions of jewellery, shifting from investment to fashion accessory,” Pallavi said. Changes in taste are occurring gradually as mostly the customer is accompanied by an “influencer”, who is usually older with more traditional tastes. Weddings in India are a hugely important showcase for changes in attitudes to jewellery designs, Pallavi says. “Jewellery is not only purchased by the bride, as weddings become an excuse for the whole family to buy jewellery. “In India the wedding jewellery market is second to none. The gap between wedding purchases and all other ‘occasion’ purchases is unparalleled,” she said. With customers becoming more and more conscious of fashion and personal style statements, the bride gets her jewellery piece designed first, and the garments are designed later. “Experimentation over where the jewel can be worn is one direction which brides are ready to try today,” Pallavi said. “For example, a necklace could move into the shoulder blade and drape down the entire arm. However, most people today are looking at transformability, so that this showstopper wedding ensemble can be worn together or separately.”
Interview with Stephane Fischler, president of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre
You often travel around the world. How is Antwerp perceived these days in the diamond, gem and jewellery industry? Before everything, the world knows about Antwerp’s love story with diamonds. Our 550-year history, and our leading position as the world’s epicenter of the diamond trade – nobody can beat that. Antwerp’s expertise, its advanced research and technology have contributed much, among others, to this leading role. In how much is Antwerp itself a brand? Antwerp remains the world’s knowledge center for extraordinary diamond cutting, research and the development of technology, and this in spite of the fact that the mass production of diamond, as is the case with so many other industries, has moved to lower wage production centers in the East. Antwerp is recognized as the global diamond industry brand, but we need to continue working hard to preserve this status. Why is the model of the ADTF working? For diamond buyers – jewellery manufacturers, retail jewellers and also diamantaires, time is money. Antwerp is situated conveniently on major routes, and the model of the ADTF enables buyers to source from a huge pool of companies and an unprecedented choice of diamonds. In Antwerp, they can do their business quickly and efficiently. I do not think there is any other diamond trade show – or trading center for that matter – that can compete with us and match that. This is the reason the AWDC supports the ADTF as it is one of the most important visit cards of our business. The fact that annually we bring hundreds of buyers – jewellers – into the bourse for the fair is a fantastic introduction to Antwerp and almost a guarantee that these buyers will be back! So Antwerp is unique? Certainly. Just look at the numbers. Some 80 percent of the rough diamond are sold through and from Antwerp. More than 50 percent of all the polished moves through Antwerp annually. Combine that with the multicultural and multinational mosaic that our diamond quarter is, and you have a unique, global diamond centre. Of course, the pleasant and secure business environment and the critical mass of global companies represented in Antwerp are aspects of that unique character. The ADTF is a great opportunity for buyers to come and see and experience this for themselves. A mosaic is made up of endless mall pieces. How do these interact? That’s the beauty of Antwerp! There are about 2,000 offices here and they are – in a way – all interconnected. Antwerp’s diamond quarter covers less than square kilometer. Just stand in the Hoveniersstraat – our major throughway – for a few minutes and observe the traffic. People are constantly moving up and about, on their way to see a stone they have located or to show goods to a contact. With all the technology and online business done, the diamond business remains very much a people’s business. That’s why the ADTF is so important. You have a chance to meet the people behind the stones and build a relationship with them. I wish everybody a great 6th ADTF! Interview with Stephane Fischler, President of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre
A New Way to Get Millennials interested in diamonds!
Let’s face it…Millennials have shown little interest in buying diamonds. A big part of the blame can be placed on how diamonds are marketed. There is no excitement, no romance; nothing to capture the attention of this important demographic. Online databases brag about ease of searching, mobile capability and low prices but they have been missing the mark. DeBeers, through its Forevermark brand, is bringing back the highly successful “A diamond is forever” campaign. But that has little chance of capturing the hearts of Millennials. It belongs to their grandparent’s generation and they won’t fall for that old, hackneyed slogan. But there is hope. Finally, someone gets it and has an idea of what Millennials want. They want a story, they want personalisation, and most of all they want to share their experience with their friends. Jacques Voorhees, founder of Polygon and CEO of Verichannel had his eyes opened in a conversation with his 23 year old son Alex while showing him how diamonds are sold on various online databases: “Dad, this is boring. Is this really how diamonds are being sold? A long ugly list like this? Really?” “Yes, that is how diamonds are sold. What’s wrong with it?” “It’s not visually exciting. It’s like having to do homework or something. Does anyone find that fun, looking through lists of alpha-numeric characters on hundreds of diamonds? Seriously?” “Well, I’m not sure it needs to be fun. It’s how people find the best price.” “I’m not sure that should be the goal, finding the best price. I think the goal should be to make it fun.” His son recognized that on a database all the diamonds appear to be the same but that in reality they are as different as snowflakes. And the reasons for buying one are different as well. Each one has its own history and each purchase has its own story. We need to let that story out. What’s being emphasized are things like VS1 and VS2. We need to emphasize the story, the emotions. That’s more important, and far more interesting, than the gemmological stuff.” That conversation led to the creation of the Museum of Named Diamonds, a place where consumers can register a name for their own diamond and share a story and artwork of the meaning behind their diamond. The chairman of the Museum’s Board of Governors and past president of GIA, Bill Boyajian states: “Consumers have for far too long focused on grading reports and commodity-like pricing when it comes to diamonds. It’s time to move the conversation back to diamonds as a unique symbol of love, to connect the diamond to the precious relationship it represents. This is the goal of the Museum of Named Diamonds.” The program is open to consumers and retailers through Nymify, a commercial entity that helps create the name, the artwork, and the story. It’s fun, it’s personal, it can be shared online. And most of all…it’s not just a boring list of technical specifications; it is romance. This may be the right concept to get Millennials interested in diamonds. By Dave Siskin
“The magic world of Diamonds”, a lecture by Marijan Dundek, Graff, London
Visitors to the ADTF will have the privilege to attend a breakfast seminar presented by Marijan Dundek, of GRAFF London, about fancy color diamonds, on February 2nd 2015 at 8.30 am at the Radisson Hotel of Antwerp. Marijan Dundek is a leading authority on diamonds. In his professional career he has worked with, and advised on, some of the world’s finest and most valuable diamonds. His passion for his field and his keenness to further knowledge about diamonds and the diamond industry led to his writing this guide, which has been highly praised by other experts and organizations in the field. In expanding the book’s international reach through its translation into six languages, as well as making the book available in electronic editions, the author is also able to promote the highest standards of good practice in the diamond industry to a wider audience. Born in Croatia in 1950, Mr Dundek has lived in London since 1971 and has travelled extensively around the world. He studied gemmology at the International Gemological Institute in Antwerp. His experience working with gemstones in Brazil, New York and Europe contributed greatly to his knowledge and appreciation of diamonds, which, combined with his love for the subject, has made him a notable authority in the field. He currently works with the world famous Graff Diamonds in London and is also an independent consultant on diamonds at Noble Gems International.
Iconic jeweller, Gerhard Schreiner of Schreiner Haute Joaillerie to attend ADTF 2015
ADTF: Your fascination with precious stones has led you to travel the world in search of gemstones of the highest standards. You will visit the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair next February 2015 for the 2nd time. What type of stones will you be looking for? Why Antwerp? GS: We are looking especially for single stones in sizes from 10 to 50 carats. ADTF: What are the advantages of sourcing your diamonds at ADTF? GS: As we are working with several partners who are participating in the show, we are able to compare prices and get the best sources and the best results. ADTF: You obviously have your trusted suppliers of diamonds. Are you looking to forge new industry contacts? GS: We are always open and are always looking for new sources and new industry contacts in such exhibitions. ADTF: You own the worldwide copyright on the innovative Buddha-cut and the production of the Buddha Diamond collection is done in-house by specialist technicians, right here in Antwerp. What kind of diamonds do you use for this line? GS: As the Buddha diamond is a very special cut and requests a very long and specially very big width of the rough. Only a few percentage of the existing rough can be converted into our worldwide registered Buddha diamond cut. It takes a lot of patience in sourcing the appropriate rough ADTF: Tell us about the diamond jewellery collection you will be launching? GS: We will be launching soon a new multi-color diamond collection which we will present at Baselworld 2015 for the first time. The collection contains diamonds in a choice of colours, such as pink, blue, and even green, in a variety of shapes and sizes. Interview with Gerhard Schreiner, Schreiner Haute Joaillerie
Meeting with Yves Kerremans, director at WTOCD
Antwerp, the world’s number one diamond trading hub, operates its own scientific and technological research centre, dedicated exclusively to diamonds. Known by its Dutch-language acronym WTOCD, the Scientific and Technical Research Centre for Diamonds is located in Lier, an Antwerp suburban township. It is recognized as one of the world’s leading research centres for diamonds. Yves Kerremans, the WTOCD’s director, spoke to the ADTF NL editors. WTOCD employs a team of 15 engineers and researchers whose mission is to develop new technologies and develop new tools, with the aim to keep Antwerp at the forefront of the global diamond industry. A series of innovations have resulted from their research such as D-Screen (patented screening technology of potential synthetic and HPHT colour enhanced polished diamonds), AvalonPlus (in-process measurement of facet smoothness and geometry), EOSFancy (automatic bruting of fancy shapes), Morgana (fast and precise alignment of tang, tang plate and polishing mill) and Grain Independent Polishing (patented new revolutionary polishing technique). WTOCD is currently developing M-Screen, an automated screener for melee sized goods, based on its D-Screen technology. Hearts and Arrows diamonds (H&A) are round brilliants with special patterns visible under specific lighting conditions. The patterns consist of eight hearts when viewed from the pavilion side and eight arrows when viewed from the crown side. As early as 1988, Kinsaku Yamashita designed an H&A viewer that creates the typical images as illustrated in the photos. Upon the request of HRD Antwerp, WTOCD developed an expert system for Hearts & Arrows to replace the inaccurate and subjective traditional viewer. The WTOCD expert system combines a set of transparent guidelines with an automatic grading system thus forming the basis for the Hearts & Arrows by HRD Antwerp. WTOCD collaborates actively with HRD Antwerp and is the research department of AWDC. Meeting with Yves Kerremans, Director at WTOCD
A conversation with Wolf Ollech, a veteran Antwerp diamond cutter
Diamond manufacturing has considerably evolved over the past decades. When Wolf Ollech started his career in Antwerp, cutting a diamond was an artisan’s job. As a sculptor of miniatures, the diamond cutter was able to exercise his creative skills to craft his jewel out of the rough stone he had in his hands, veteran diamond cutter Wolf Ollech explains. Since the mid-70s, with the introduction of modern technology, including cad-cam based technology, things have changed considerably. Today, technology is indispensable in diamond cutting and polishing, both in large plants as well as in the smaller workshops. But experience and knowledge are also important, if not more important. Knowledge that was passed on from generation to generation by skilled diamond cutters formed the foundations on which Antwerp’s position as the world’s leading diamond trading were built and continues to build by excelling in the diamond trade. Antwerp’s expertise is exported worldwide: its knowhow, technology, tools and machinery are employed globally, as Antwerp companies manufacture diamonds in a significant number of diamond cutting centres in Asia. More than 50 percent of the world’s polished diamonds are traded in Antwerp and a stunning 80 percent of all rough produced annually is traded here as well. That means something, and therefore, Antwerp is most often identified with the fifth “C”: the “C” of confidence! So, Wolf, with all the technology available, how come you still are cutting diamonds? That’s very simple: the human eye and experience of decades of working with rough are still the decisive factor. It’s great to have technology on our side. But in the end, human insights and intervention grant diamonds their ultimate sparkle. A conversation with Wolf Ollech, A veteran Antwerp diamond cutter
London-based jewellery designer Alexander Davis seeks diamonds for bespoke and bridal wear
LONDON – Alexander Davis, who has a fast-growing reputation as one of Britain’s most cutting-edge jewellery designers, sources diamonds for exquisite custom-made pieces and his own bridal collection. Davis, who bought a gorgeous peachy-pink diamond at Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair (ADTF) in 2014 which he later set into a pendant, won the 2010 New Designer of the Year at the UK Jewellery Awards. Davis is one of the hardest working jewellers in the business, as he both runs his own boutique on Duke Street in chic Mayfair, London, and designs and makes his own collections, and magnificent bespoke pieces, often diamond engagement rings. He is constantly in search of diamonds for his extensive Alexander Davis bridal collection, for which he has his own exclusive in-store app-style application which allows customers to configure a diamond ring in perfect tune with their tastes. At ADTF in January 2014, Davis purchased a peachy-pink 1.03-carat VVS diamond which he later surrounded with cognac diamonds also acquired at the fair, creating a pendant in rose gold featuring a Paraiba tourmaline that is currently available at his 1A Duke Street boutique, near Selfridges. Davis enjoys experimenting with colour combinations to test design ideas, and mixes natural high-end colour gemstones with diamonds. “I like buying random stones and slinging them together,” he said. At ADTF, he also bought grey, ice white and old rose cut diamonds for use in his latest creations. The young designer, often inspired by science and architecture, is constantly looking for something new, and has started using unusual materials such as titanium in combination with precious materials. The stone is always the crucial heart of his imaginings. “I work from a concept in my mind, and I find the stone that goes with the concept,” Davis said. “Otherwise I find a stone and design around it.” He loves the work of the great contemporary jewellery designers, such as JAR and Wallace Chan, and hopes one day to carve out his own special place among the world’s elite designers. “I try to innovate with gem settings and use new materials,” he said. BIG STONES AT ADTF Davis said that for him, ADTF’s great strength would be for sourcing large diamonds. “If you are in the market for a big stone, you are better off going to ADTF,” he said. “It is about making the contacts who could supply you with something special. “It would be hard work going round Hatton Garden, but you can more easily find something big and special in a visit to the Antwerp diamond fair. “And ADTF supplies stones that are harder to find in the UK, such as ice whites and greys.”
“HRD Antwerp, Clearly a Cut Above” by Dr Katrien De Corte, Chief Officer Education, HRD Antwerp Morning Breakfast Seminar on Tuesday 3rd February 2015
Diamond jewellery manufacturers and retailers will have the opportunity to learn more about the importance of diamond grading according to IDC rules. Confidence in diamond jewellery is the challenge. Consumer confidence is key to selling diamonds. HRD Antwerp Chief Officer of Education, Dr Katrien De Corte will talk about the crucial importance of diamond grading according to IDC Rules on Tuesday 3rd February at the morning breakfast conference hosted by ADTF at the Radisson Blu Astrid hotel. “Do you know that the smallest details can make a world of difference? “At HRD Antwerp, we do! That is why we apply the greatest accurateness in everything we do”, says Dr de Korte. “How to make your choice when it come to diamonds and diamond jewellery. In the complex world of diamond and diamond jewellery, you want the most accurate and independent diamond laboratory to examine your stones. Do not hesitate to choose Antwerp’s long-standing diamond heritage combined with HRD Antwerp’s exacting standards as the leading European authority in diamond grading”. Dr Katrien De Corte, Chief Officer Education
Nir Matalon, Director of Malca Amit Belgium: “If you think we are just shippers, you’re wrong!”
“We like to call ourselves logistics providers. After all, we do forward about 65 percent of all the diamonds in the world!” Nir Matalon, director of Malca Amit, Belgium, says. “In Belgium, we serve the Antwerp diamond business community, and by extension their diamond buying clients. There is almost no jeweller in the world who has not been called upon by Malca Amit’s forwarding services. Matalon emphasizes the important role that Malca Amit plays, also during and following the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair. “By using a forwarder like Malca Amit, buyers will save them a lot of headaches – and unnecessary costs. “We basically take care of everything after a sale is made and goods need to be sent to the buyer’s office, That includes clearing the goods locally, through the Diamond Office, and through the customs in the target country.” But the Malca-Amit Group of Companies is much, much more than that!” Nir Matalon, director of Malca Amit Belgium, says in an exclusive interview with the ADTF Newsletter. In fact, the term logistics does not come close to covering the diversity of services that our company offers. So, yes, we are renowned for our secured door-to-door delivery, not only of diamonds and jewellery but of anything that is precious and needs secured delivery. The list is almost longer than my arm!’ Matalon smiles. “We secure and forward and deliver private collections, on-tour jewellery exhibitions; high-value trunk shows; public and private auctions; sports leagues road-shows, just to name a few our services. Of course most of what we do, stays out of the public’s eye, so you may want to remember that next time when you’re watching a Golden Globe ceremony in the US, or a Cannes Film Festival red-carpet event in France, and you see all those gorgeous actresses strutting past the banks of photographers and admirers, showing off the jewellery and dresses they are wearing, be assured that is a very good chance that a Malca Amit team is on site to secure the whole scene i.e. the actresses — and the fabulous jewellery that they are wearing. Malca Amit is therefore a company that has an internationally deployed team of experts in logistics, security, customs house and special operations, who all work tirelessly to ensure smooth, expedient and professional service tailored to the precise specifications and needs of the global luxury goods industry and also international financing institutions. Other fields we are – necessarily – are strong in is integrated solution technology. For instance, we operate the largest precious metals and fine arts storage facility in Hong Kong. Our global capabilities enable our clients to achieve maximum efficiency when dealing with the movement of their valuable assets. Of course, we’re not everywhere, and therefore we have a comprehensive, international network of partners and affiliates who provide us with last-mile services. Of course we make sure they perform according to our exacting and rigid standards, too. Coming back to diamond and jewellery business, we also provide purchasing and vaulting services, third-party logistics, bonded warehousing, customs brokerage service, collect-on-delivery services, and other special operations. Since June 2014, we also added a daily delivery service to Dubai’s Freezone Facilities. And Malca-Amit operates another eight free zone facilities worldwide including: Bangkok, Geneva, London, Manhattan, New York’s JFK Airport, Shanghai, Singapore and Zurich. We are working hard to launch our Belgian zone, which will begin operating quite soon!” Matalon stated. Matalon is proud of Malca-Amit’s Jet Services. “More than often, diamond business transactions are dependent of goods that are not where they are requested for viewing. For instance let’s say that an Antwerp firm gets a call from Geneva. An upscale retail jeweler needs to show a rich client a choice of large diamonds. The problem: the buyer is coming back to see them at the store in six hours, after that he will be gone. Can the Antwerp supplier help him? With our jet service, we can! We can deliver shipments from Belgium within a few hours to almost any European destination and onwards on the next available flight to Asia and USA!” With the distribution point of the De Beers sights moving from London to Gaberone, Botswana, Malca Amit instated another jet service for its sightholder clients, Matalon notes. “We fly them into the capital, Gaberone, in the morning, and out in the evening and as such cut a trip that would potentially gobble up four to five business days – to one. That’s great added value. And we’re proud of it!” In closing, Matalon mentions GemIT, a rather new, innovative online diamond trading platform, powered by Malca-Amit, that enables diamond industry players and jewelry retailers to buy and sell diamonds faster and easier than ever before. “As a leading logistics provider in the global diamond gem and jewellery industry we are the natural partners for this project. Also, we think that by having this platform managed by a neutral partner like Malca Amit, the customers’ trust and confidence is greatly enhanced.” Nir Matalon
Laura Grazioli cannot stay away from Antwerp
Jewellery designer Laura Grazioli will attend the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair for the 4th time next February 2015. Winner of the 2000 International Jewellery Design Awards, Laura has over 20 years’ experience in the industry with leading jewellers such as Tiffany & Co, Asprey & Schreiner. Specialized in designing unique jewellery master pieces, Laura channels her creativity in designing bespoke jewellery. Laura comments: “Only at the ADTF, can one view marvellous diamonds of unbelievable sizes, shapes and colours. It’s the diamond that is the real star, so what better place than the ADTF where you have the opportunity to forge new partnerships with high level diamond suppliers and create winning synergies. We have similar goals: To be always competitive and stay at the forefront of the jewellery market.At the moment, the market is very aggressive and it is only thanks to excellence that one can be successful. The Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair is without any doubt the ultimate expression of excellence in the global diamond industry!”. Laura Grazioli
Artist jeweller Wallace Chan communicates through light and colours
Artist jeweller Wallace Chan communicates a love of gemstones, and works tenderly with precious materials, making the most of light and colours, to create remarkable sculptural pieces much sought after by wealthy collectors. “If you know how to appreciate it, there is beauty in every gemstone,” Chan, one of the great names in contemporary jewellery design, said in a recent interview. “When I carve, when I work on a gemstone, I am very tender,” he said. “When I see a gem, if I feel for it, I try to communicate it through light and colours.” Wallace Chan, who plans to visit the 2015 edition of ADTF, is one of a very few contemporary designers who have had the privilege of having their own stand at the Paris Biennale des Antiquaires, which showcases some of the world’s greatest jewellery designs. Chinese collectors have paid huge sums for his intricately crafted insect, flower and fish sculptures, using carved coloured titanium, jadeite and natural colour gemstones, including diamonds. Chan is celebrated for his innovations in jewellery making techniques, such as the “Wallace Cut”, which he has used to carve a human face in a precious stone. He is also a perfectionist, and said he can be working on 50-60 pieces at the same time, periodically going back to a piece to refresh it. “I have this dream: that whenever people see a piece of my jewellery, they see it as a work of art,” he said. Text by David Brough
Message from Antwerp World Diamond Centre
“Antwerp is the world’s leading diamond trading centre in the world.” I often get to make that statement, addressing various audiences, in my role as CEO of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre. While this statement is a simple truth, it cannot be said too often. Throughout the world, my colleagues and I continue to meet members of the jewellery trade who may have done business with Antwerp-based diamond firms, but have not yet visited Antwerp itself, and therefore have not had a chance to truly experience the power house our diamond centre constitutes. With the establishment of the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair in 2010, we took yet another step to lower the threshold. Since then, Antwerp has its very own, exclusive by-invitation-only diamond trade show which is held annually, in the city’s diamond quarter itself, in the trading halls of three of Antwerp’s diamond bourses. During the first three days of February 2015, we will once again welcome hundreds of jewelry manufacturers, designers and retailers to Antwerp to participate in the sixth edition of the ADTF. More than 90 Antwerp companies will be exhibiting at the fair, and offer the visiting diamond buyers an unprecedented choice of diamonds. The show is easy to negotiate, the trading halls are close one to another and the social and educational programmes are enticing. A few years ago, a visiting jeweller qualified his experience at the fair as follows: “Visiting Antwerp and participating in the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair is like having a top quality cup of espresso. In a few sips, you get to taste and enjoy the full flavour and strength of what Antwerp’s diamond business has to offer. As a result, the few days I visited the fair, were a worthwhile effort and my time was well spent.” So, if you are a diamond buying jeweller, the ADTF is the diamond fair to visit. Antwerp is awaiting you. Ari Epstein CEO AWDC
ADTF is good source for European jewellery manufacturers
Andrew Morton, Managing Director of WB The Creative Jewellery Group, visited the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair in 2014 and noted the extensive variety of showcased diamonds. “Although we are not in the market for large and fancy cut stones, I was impressed by the range that was available,” he said. “This is clearly a great, local facility for European producers enabling them to see a wide selection of suppliers in one place and providing them with the chance to source special diamonds close to home.” Meanwhile, Domino Jewellery, part of WB The Creative Jewellery Group, is expanding its “Rosabella” diamond jewellery range to create an extraordinary variety of pieces to suit every occasion from everyday wear to the smartest social events. Domino’s Rosabella Collection in 18ct white gold, or platinum, offers diamond necklaces, earrings and bracelets. All pieces are designed in-house by Birmingham-based Domino’s prize-winning team of designers. “This is a collection which spans daywear, evening wear and bridal,” Morton said. “It is designed to be worn — rather than kept in the bank — and is perfect, not simply for special occasion black-tie events, but also for a casual Saturday lunch.” The Rosabella range can be supplied set or unset so that retailers can add their own diamonds if they wish. Domino offers them a choice of either H -SI or G-VS diamonds in sizes ranging from 0.15 to 8.2 carat and gives the consumer the opportunity to buy into the collection at their own level. “We are constantly refreshing and updating all our brands and I am pleased to say that Rosabella is currently having a complete makeover,” Morton said. “It was re-launched with 34 completely new pieces added to its core designs in early September.”
Buddha diamond cut to be exhibited at 2015 Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair 2015.
Diamond manufacturers are always looking for ways to innovate and bring new and better products onto the market. One of the roads well-travelled toward innovation is the introduction of a new diamond shape or cut. But while Antwerp has seen its share of newly introduced modified cuts, it is not often that we encounter something unusual such as the “Buddha Cut,” a diamond polished in the shape of a meditating Buddha. Conceived and designed by a Belgian diamond polisher with Buddhist beliefs, the cut stone+ features 33 crown facets, 21 pavilion facets in addition to the culet, and a polished girdle. The Buddha-shaped diamonds are produced in three different versions, representing the Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha of India; a feminine form of Buddha, known as Kwan Yin to the Chinese and Kannon to the Japanese; and the Jinarat Buddha, an essential component in Thailand’s religious beliefs. These diamonds –which are in fact tiny sculptures — are available in heights that range from 5 to 12 mm, weighing between 0.30 and 3 carats. Each Buddha is laser-inscribed with an individual serial number on the girdle. There is also room for additional inscriptions. These unique diamonds, manufactured by Antwerp based manufacturer the Buddha Diamond Company, will be on display during the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair, February 1-3, 2015.
Three bourses – three presidents – an interview
“Get me the three presidents into a room and I’ll talk to them!” In any other scenario this would have demanded a major effort, but in this case, the presidents of the Antwerp Diamond Bourse, the Diamond Club of Antwerp and the Antwerp Rough Diamond Bourse (the ‘Kring’), proved they were more than willing to sit down with the editors of the ADTF Newsletter for a quick preview of the sixth edition of the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair that will be held February 1-3, 2015. Freddy Inzlicht is not only president of the Antwerpsche DiamantKring (ADK), but also vice president of the Antwerp Diamond World Centre. Why does your bourse participate in the ADTF, we asked the Kring’s president. After all, your members are supposed to deal mainly in rough diamonds? “It was a very logical thing to happen. Our members’ businesses are very much diversified and most members of the Kring do business in both rough and polished. Also, Antwerp’s four diamond bourses [The fourth bourse is the Vrije Diamanthandel- ed.] are united in the Federation of Belgian Diamond Bourses (FBDB). We can only achieve success in ventures such as the ADFT, if we act as a single unit. As such, we always look at the bigger picture, and that means we’re always trying to create and bring more added value to all of our collective members. The ADK, too, has always been eager to improve the business environment for its members. This is a common interest across the board, and in the case of the bourses across the streets of the diamond district,” Inzlicht smiled. “We understood a long time ago that the more united we are, the stronger and better we will become.” “Therefore, our members’ interest and involvement in the ADTF has been there from the fair’s inception in 2010 and quite a number of our members are closely associated with the ADTF. And since last year, the ADK’s beautiful diamond trading hall has become an integral part of the fair, enabling us to increase the number of exhibitors to 90. At the upcoming fair in February, members of all the four bourses in Antwerp will once again display what Antwerp does best: putting the world’s best, brightest and most brilliant choice of diamonds on display for leading jewellers coming from all over the world, to see, inspect and buy, from the beating heart of the Antwerp diamond district.” Willy Rotti is president of the Diamond Club of Antwerpand also of the FBDB. Why has the ADTF become such an interesting fair for select diamond buyers, we inquired? And is it truly an expression of Antwerp’s entire diamond business community? It is, in fact, very simple,” he explains. “Antwerp is the world’s number one diamond trading center. Some 80 percent of all rough diamonds mined come through the city’s diamond offices and more than 50 percent of the polished diamonds manufactured worldwide are traded here. To understand the journey of diamonds throughout the world, watch the new movie that the Antwerp World Diamond Centre – the ADTF’s chief sponsor – released some time ago! Antwerp is also a mirror of all the other diamond hubs in the world. Take a walk on the streets of the diamond quarter, and you will meet people from all over the world, who either live here and run their businesses or come here on business – buying and selling rough or polished diamonds. Anyone, any company that wants to succeed in the global diamond business, must have a presence in Antwerp. You cannot run a successful diamond business without being involved in Antwerp, because all roads in the diamond business lead to Antwerp. Therefore, when jewelry manufacturers, designers, and retailers want to buy polished diamonds and want to be absolutely sure they will find what they need – they come here. The ADTF was created as a platform, an on-site showcase as it were, that enables visiting buyers to get a rapid overview of what Antwerp has to offer, to make many contacts, to inspect an incredible variety and selection of goods and make purchases. Nothing beats Antwerp Marcel Pruwer is president of the Antwerp Diamond Bourse – Beurs voor Diamanthandel in Dutch. The Bourse, as it is called for short, established the ADTF in 2010, with the Club joining the fair in 2012 and the Kring in 2014. Why, we asked Pruwer, is the format of the ADTF so successful? In all modesty, we did not re-invent the wheel, but copied a concept that already existed in the finished jewelry market. However, by introducing the concept of a ‘by-invitation-only’ trade show to the loose diamond business, we created a new diamond buying experience for jewelers, in the heart of Antwerp’s diamond district. Every year, we invite between 100 and 200 high-end jewelers to come to Antwerp for the very first time, to experience the power of Antwerp. We pick them up at the airport, provide complimentary hotel rooms, wine and dine them, and take good care of them during the entire show, until dropping them-off at the airport, three days later. In addition, we host hundreds of returning visitors who were given the VIP treatment in earlier years, and who keep coming back, now that they have become acquainted and familiar with our fair, to participate and buy diamonds. Often, these newcomers have already met with Antwerp companies at international gem and jewelry trade shows. But we realized a number of years ago, while they have been doing business with Antwerp-based firms, many of them had never set foot in Antwerp itself, let alone visited the diamond quarter. The ADTF has been, is and will be the catalyst of change, as it literally opens the gates of the diamond quarter to prospective buyers. We are combining old things in new ways. With the ADTF we took an existing idea and applied it differently, and thus created a new idea. In my view, in this way we contribute to innovation and the renewal of the gem and jewelry business. After all, players in the supply pipeline want to grow, create and see more innovation in marketing and more creativity in design and marketing, creating extra emotional content, and a better image and reputation, all with the purpose of gaining consumers’ trust, enthusiasm and desire to buy diamond and diamond-set jewelry.
Sixth time around for Boodles at ADTF
Jody Wainwright, Director at luxury jeweller Boodles, is a regular visitor to the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair (ADTF), where he buys diamonds for the magnificent one-off jewels sold by the retailer at several prime locations. Jody, who has travelled all over the world to find the best gemstones, is typically looking for D-G VS+ clarity stones or fancy colours. He believes only the best diamonds will do. Boodles has nine shops in premier locations in the UK and Ireland, including Bond Street, Sloane Street and Harrods in London. Jody speaks to ADTF about his latest experiences visiting the fair. Jody, you visited the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair in January 2014. What were you looking for when you set out to visit the fair – new suppliers of diamonds, interesting cuts or specifications, new industry contacts, networking opportunities? Personally, I always find the Antwerp fair is a great opportunity to nurture existing relationships. However, of course, I am always keeping an eye out for new and interesting suppliers. Did the fair meet your expectations? Myself and the other Boodles directors always enjoy the fair and it certainly didn’t let us down this time… What were your impressions of the range, variety and quality of diamonds on offer at the fair? Obviously the fair has grown considerably with the addition of the new area, and the variety of stones was impressive. Fancy shapes are more and more hard to find – however, being under the one roof was helpful as it meant that we could acquire stones we needed. What are the benefits of sourcing diamonds from the Antwerp diamond community? Hong Kong and Vegas are a long way away whereas Antwerp is a lot closer to home — therefore very handy. We also love the food…when we’ve spent too much on diamonds, my father and I nip into the Sir Anthony Van Dijck restaurant for a long 5-star lunch — to save money! What is Boodles looking for in the diamonds it acquires for its jewellery pieces? Top quality and exciting cuts. Not round brilliant or anything run of the mill — unless we have saved these orders especially to make them face to face with people we like doing business with (eg Chris Bull at Dimexon, amongst others.) Did you make valuable new industry contacts when you visited the fair, and would you like to visit the fair again next year? We did indeed and will definitely be going back next year… Jody Wainwright
Jazzing it up in the diamond industry
Welcoming the delegates and participants in the 36th World Diamond Congress to the dinner party on June 16th in the trading hall of the Antwerp Diamond Bourse (Beurs voor Diamanthandel), Bourse President Marcel Pruwer gave a short but highly insightful presentation that we wish to share with the IDMA members. Entitled “Jazzing up the Diamond Industry,” Pruwer said that the ” challenge at this Congress is to continue to find new ideas to leverage the intellectual entrepreneurial and logistics resources we all have, together with our allies and stakeholders to create innovative solutions.” “Welcome to the Antwerp Diamond Bourse! The Antwerp Diamond Bourse is delighted to host you here in this listed building, on the occasion of the 36th World Diamond Congress. At the end of the 19th century, Antwerp diamantaires were doing their diamond business in café’s near the station, amongst them Café Petit Duc. Needing security and privacy they opened the Beurs Voor Diamanthandel, in 1904, more or less at the same time as our colleague Bourse the Club opened its doors. We are a member organization like all other Bourses. Our business is a people’s business. Many of you will have noticed in recent months a new wave of activity and initiatives by different bourses. These include trade events and promotions and also increasingly, direct cooperation in holding events, between Bourses. These new events have brought back a strong feel for the peoples aspect of the business, including taking responsibility. Led by its president Mr Ernie Blom, the World Federation of Diamond Bourses is increasingly active in a growing number of areas to protect and promote the interest of its members. This represents a new chapter in the history of the bourses and of the diamond business and a new departure point for a strategy that can respond to the challenges of the day with agility, speed and execution. In addition to increasing our trade between bourses, we are open to working together with all stakeholders in the industry. Einstein said that the same brain that created a problem cannot solve it. We need to think differently. We need to engage with our business differently. We need to be ready to be challenged and to challenge all our assumptions. Dear friends, a jazz musician playing a set piece of music displays a particular pattern of brain activity. The same musician, if he is improvising, creating new music, has a very different pattern of brain activity. Kahneman and Twersky won a Nobel Prize for teaching us how little we understand about how our mind functions and how we think and why we do what we do. They helped usher in the current interest in neuroscience and behavioral psychology. In trying to understand how we think and what we think, a couple of years ago a team of neuroscience researchers tried out an experiment. Every year in Israel 1,000 students go out to raise money for social causes. They divided the group into 3. A third were asked to raise money voluntarily, a 3rd were promised a 1% commission and another 3rd were promised 10% commission. What happened?….. The first group working for free, raised the most money. Why? Money is not always the motivator it is assumed to be. Passion, interest and commitment are very often better motivators. In another example, in a city there is a popular day-care center and 2 or 3 times a week 1 or 2 parents would come late annoyingly keeping the staff waiting. The staff got very frustrated. After discussion, trying to find a deterrent they posted a notice that any parent collecting their child late would have to pay $10 for every time they were late. What happened?…..3 or 4 times more parents came late. Why? Because there was now a simple, unemotional price to pay for doing what the day-care centre did not want to happen. Now I pay and so, I can be late. Money is not the answer to everything and is not a metric that works for everything. Unintended consequences can easily play havoc with our best intentioned plans. Earlier today our WFDB President Ernie Blom quoted Winston Churchill who said the future empires will be empires of the mind. Churchill also said, when you have 1,000 laws you destroy all respect for the law. Does anybody think that the banks who brought the world to financial collapse in 2008 didn’t have compliance bibles and codes of ethics? Does anybody think that the last round of banks who have been fined for sanctions busting, miss-selling products and other wrongdoing didn’t have compliance rules? The average rule book of a major corporation or bank is around 1,000 pages and they have lawyers and everyone is signing hundreds of documents. And then they were fined for not following all those rules, JP Morgan US$13 billion. HSBC $1.9 billion, Banque Paris Bas, anticipating a fine of maybe US$10 billion. The key surely is having business people not just following a 1,000 rules but business people having an internal ethical compass, with a strong industry ethos, clear rules and structured regulations that are rigorously and unambiguously enforced. When we studied economics we were taught land, labor and capital are the factors of production. Today business schools are teaching integrity is a factor of production. This week, this Congress is actively dealing with these rules and regulations, deliberating policy and mapping our way ahead- we need to do this clearly and decisively, a vital responsibility for our global diamond business. We live in times of volatility and permanent turbulence. In 1935 the average lifetime for an S&P 500 company was 90 years – today its about 18 years We live in a totally new consumer world. The world is increasingly populated by empowered and skeptical consumers. Smart, bold, contemporary companies now create platforms for engaging consumers as co-designers and co-producers. A few days ago Vani Hara, a 32 year-old blogger, decided she wanted beer companies to disclose the ingredients in their beer, which they refused to do. It took her 36 hours to get 44,000 online signatures and the first and second largest drink companies in the world, AB INBEV & SAB Miller, very quickly agreed to publish their ingredients. Major companies have less control over their brand. Again, we need new ideas on all aspects of our business. Today we are told, emotional marketing is the key to creating an interest on the part of consumers. Companies and industries are creating communities of consumers through social media. Consumers today have a much more comprehensive notion of value…social, environmental and financial. Albert Einstein agreed there was “Nothing new under the sun” but he firmly believed in combining old things in new ways…The brain chemistry changes when two old ideas suddenly overlap to create a new idea. Many people may assume that Einstein was a mathematical left-brain thinker, but he wasn’t- he was a right-brain thinker. Famously, he sat on a light-beam and travelled its path to try and understand how the world worked. Collectively, our industry is certainly capable of doing all the left and right brain thinking we need. Our unique international diamond trade has been a late adaptor in re-designing its business model. Our challenge at this Congress is to continue to find new ideas to leverage the intellectual entrepreneurial and logistics resources we all have as the World Diamond Federation of Diamond Bourses together with our allies and stakeholders to create innovative solution. I believe and encourage the delegates and Presidents to think and discuss whether the small, incremental changes we make in managing our businesses are enough or whether we need much bigger steps, if we are to take this unique business further towards its full potential. Our industry needs deeper pools of financing capital, better banking, higher profits through the processing parts of the pipeline, more innovation and creativity in design and marketing, creating more emotional content, a better image and reputations in all business and political arenas. If we work together, all Bourses and all critical industry forums who wish to work with us, we are infinitely stronger, much more strongly placed to build a sustainably thriving, profitable and admirable industry. Marcel Pruwer, President of the Antwerp Diamond Bourse
These boots made with 39 083 diamonds, will be shown at the ADTF on January 26.
Last December’s Business of Design Week in Hong Kong was dedicated to Belgian creativity. One of the highlights of the Belgian Spirit Programme was the uncovering of a stunning pair of diamond boots, the result of a collaboration between Antwerp based companies Diarough/UNI-Design and A.F.Vandevorst. Her Royal Highness the Queen of the Belgians, the Minister-President of the Government of Flanders Kris Peeters and Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders attended the unveiling of the diamond boots on December 4, 2013. Flanders Investment & Trade, the Flemish government agency charged with promoting international business in Flanders and abroad, initiated the diamond-fashion project as the BoDW provided a unique opportunity to highlight some of Flanders’ most famous industries. Consequently, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre and Flanders Fashion Institute called upon the Antwerp diamond business community to come forward and support the project, by committing their diamonds, time and efforts to the project. It was Diarough, one of Antwerp’s leading diamond firms that answered the call and joined hands with the internationally respected designer duo A.F.Vandevorst to shape the project. An Vandevorst and Filip Arickx designed a pair of black leather ankle boots with a paisley pattern completely covered in 1,550 carats of natural fancy colored champagne, grey and pink diamonds from Diarough/UNI-Design. A team of highly skilled craftsmen at the Indian manufacturing plant of UNI-Design set all 39,083 diamonds on the boots. For the A.F.Vandevorst cross-shaped logo, extremely rare, reddish-pink diamonds were used. The whole process, from designing the boots, producing them, selecting, sorting and shipping the diamonds to finally the actual setting of the diamonds on the boots took 30,000 man hours. The boots are now for sale – price tag: $3.2 million.
From Montreal to Antwerp
“Trading diamonds is our primary business and unlike any other shows, the Fair addresses our specific need to source loose stones and layouts. We already custom manufacture our own jewelry so we have no need to see endless aisles of finished pieces,” says Louis-Alexandre Laferriere, a principal of Laferriere & Brixi Diamonds & Jewellery, of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. “Also, when it comes to sourcing rare and exceptional goods, Antwerp dealers in our experience have always provided unique breadth of range and depth of stock. To assemble all the major players under one roof gives us a unique opportunity to look and compare inventory and get a good pulse on prices. Finally, the intimate nature of the Fair creates the necessary space to strengthen our current relationships and build new ones in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Now as always, you need a strong web of relationships to build a strong Diamonds business. Louis-Alexandre Laferriere, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
World Diamond Mark aims to boost diamond brand
“The World Diamond Mark (WDM) programme will lead to greater brand recognition of diamonds and to higher prices”, says Alex Popov, Chairman of the Board of the World Diamond Mark Foundation (WDMF). “The initiative is based on educating the retailer about diamonds, winning the confidence of the public with an accreditation programme,and introducing generic marketing to promote diamonds and diamondjewellery. “The Authorized Diamond Dealer concept is the cornerstone of the programme, leading to increased visibility of diamonds in jewellery shops. “The international diamond business community, represented by the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), will accredit jewellery retailers as Authorized Diamond Dealers. “Worldwide marketing campaigns will add to greater consumer confidence and enlarge the slice of diamonds in the luxury spending pie.” This will ensure the health and future growth of the diamond and jewellery industry in the luxury market sector. “Right now, prices of polished diamonds are too low, Popov said. “Look at prices of high-end watches – they rose more than 200 percent in the last 10 years. Diamonds could do the same. “The objective of the World Diamond Mark programme is to help raise the price of diamonds and bring better profitability to manufacturers and dealers. “The industry needs to let the message sink in that fine diamond jewellery should be more expensive than leather handbags, or a China-made electronic gadget with a retail mark-up of several hundred percent, Popov said. Alex Popov, Chairman of the Board of the World Diamond Mark Foundation
Dario Ramerini, CEO of Jewellery Brand Ititoli
Dario Ramerini, CEO of Jewellery Brand Ititoli, one of the main Italian manufacturers of Solitaires, will attend the Antwerp Diamond Fair to look for certified stones within half a carat to set on a patented model. “After 20 years of coming to Antwerp, I feel at home in the streets of Antwerp. Buildings have no numbers anymore but faces and emotions.” “I have approached a diamond company to see if we can work together on some of my fine jewellery pieces as I was very impressed with the quality of their stones. “The Antwerp Diamond Fair is the vivid expression of this city: small but rich, simple but important, essential and at the same time always fair. “I will participate at the 2014 edition of the fair to find certified diamonds of specific carat weights in so far we sell our patented solitaires principally to large jewellery retailing groups that want homogeneity and high quality let alone diamonds from reliable sources abiding by the Kimberley Process. Dario Ramerini, CEO of Jewellery Brand Ititoli
Rise of visitor numbers at ADTF
Since the fair’s inception in 2010, the number of visitors to the ADTF has been growing steadily. With beginnings as a European fair, it has quickly become a global event.
Designer Rachel Galley identifies new suppliers at ADTF
Rachel Galley, Design Director of Rachel Galley Jewellery Design Ltd, is a high-profile UK-based designer who visited ADTF in 2013 where she identified new suppliers to help develop her business. “I was at the time starting to design a range using diamonds and precious stones, so the Antwerp diamond fair was perfect for me to go and see if I could get some inspiration from the beautiful stones and meet a potential supplier for the stones to use within the collection,” Rachel said. “I have approached a diamond company to see if we can work together on some of my fine jewellery pieces as I was very impressed with the quality of their stones. “These relationships take a while to develop and because working in fine jewellery is relatively new to me I need to ensure I do it right first time and establish a long working relationship that is trustworthy and reliable. “The piece, for Lonmin, was designed after the fair and seeing the diamonds in such an array made me realise the Princess Cut was most certainly my favourite and this is how I started working on the range using this. “It was very good to get to the niche and detail as each supplier had its own speciality, for example fancy cuts.” Rachel says the benefits of sourcing diamonds from the Antwerp trade, are that the quality is guaranteed, the knowledge and competition is second to none, and one can build a great relationship with suppliers who are easily accessible.
Prominent London jeweller eager to return to ADTF
Hatton Garden-based jeweller and manufacturer David Marshall, who will open a Mayfair store later this year, says he is looking forward to visiting Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair in 2014 because it will give him access to a wide range of diamonds and services and will be an opportunity to meet people in the business whom he does not see as often as he would like. “It is important for us to work with suppliers whom we trust, and so that we can trace back the source of stones if need be,” he said. “It is really important that we do work with people like the Antwerp bourse, and people who are part of that network, so that we have that confidence.” David’s London store, located on Davies Street, Mayfair, opposite Claridge’s hotel, will stock diamond and fine jewellery pieces from the David Marshall London brand. David Marshall Hatton Garden
Roberto Coin: ADTF is a superb opportunity.
Roberto Coin, one of the world’s leading diamond jewellers, is a regular visitor to Antwerp and came this year to Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair, which he sees as a superb opportunity to keep his brand updated about market conditions, diamonds availability and prices. Roberto Coin, whose exquisite jewellery pieces are sold in luxury retail stores around the world, says the quality of diamonds must be assured for the jewellery buyer. “It is essential as quality must be guaranteed to the consumer and, considering that I am on the board of directors of the World Diamond Council, I consider traceability as a must,” he says. Roberto Coin backs the Kimberley Process as the best way to ensure traceability of diamonds from mine to finger. “Today the Kimberley Process is the system available for the traceability of diamonds and there are no new proposed options that are going to take its place soon,” he says. “Kimberley is not a perfect system but it is the only one we can use to guarantee traceability. It can represent a fundamental benefit for everybody if the entire industry respects it.” Roberto Coin says he is committed to using diamonds in his jewellery designs. “Roberto Coin, like many other important brands, for sure loves diamonds. We hope their beautiful story will continue for a long time.”
Award winning museum to host ADTF reception
One of the highlights of the events planned for the Third Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair (ADTF) is the reception on January 30th in the the MAS Museum in Antwerp. Hosted by Alderman Philip Heylen on behalf of the Antwerp Municipality, the reception will allow the trade fair’s visitors to admire the 203-foot (60 metres) tall structure’s distinctive facade that alternates between red sandstone from India and glass panes. A close look at the riverfront museum reveals that it is modern even as it recalls the 16th-century storehouses used in Antwerp’s old port. Recently, the International publication Travel+Leisure magazine, a U.S.-based magazine, selected Antwerp’s MAS as one of world’s beautiful museums. Last May, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre staged a two-week diamond jewellery exhibition at the MAS museum with the aim of introducing the public to the diamond sector. MAS stands for Museum aan de Stroom, which means museum on the river. The MAS Diamond Pavilion is now being transformed into an interactive museum with its own jewellery shop, and a gala opening due to take place at the time of the ADTF event.
ME delegation to take part in 3rd ADTF
For the first time in its — short — history, a delegation of buyers from the Middle East will take part in the 3rd edition of the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair. Coordinated by Suzanne Eid of the leading Pan-Arab and Beirut-based publication Collection Pan Arab Luxury Magazine, a group of jewelers from a variety of countries in the region will come to Antwerp for the first time to “see for themselves what the possibilities are ,” Mrs. Eid noted. “While the Middle Eastern gem and jewellery market is one of today’s most dynamic growth markets, at the same time it is still unknown territory for many Antwerp companies,” Mrs. Eid noted. “Our networking capability and reach in this fascinating and very diverse market are second to none. We are confident that the cooperation between the fair and our organization will help open many doors to the Antwerp diamond business.”
Interview with Avi Paz, president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB)
QUESTION: Mr. Paz, as WFDB president, what is your opinion about bourses organising a trade fair? ANSWER: I think it is a very good idea. As the diamond supply pipeline is getting shorter with fewer intermediaries in the market, diamond bourses will need to offer more value-adding services to their members, especially in marketing. A trade fair run by diamond bourses themselves, such as the ADTF, is one of those services. The WFDB, as the umbrella organization of 28 bourses and their 11,000 members, is also looking closely at what can be done to help bourse members increase their sales, and improve the diamond market. I’ve just come back from Hong Kong, where we held the Third WFDB Asian Summit Meeting. This was a meeting of diamond bourse presidents and other industry leaders from Asia (Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore and Thailand), to determine, among other things, how they can interact with counterparts in the western markets, and how to cooperate to increase the market share of diamonds in the luxury product markets. A trade fair, organised by a bourse or bourses, is one of the tools to achieve that goal. QUESTION: What do you think of the concept of the ADTF itself? ANSWER: By bringing in buyers – also first time buyers – in to the diamond district, and specifically into the trading halls of the bourses, you’re effectively lowering the threshold for these new potential clients. By virtually holding their hands, trust and experience can be built and next time these buyers will have no problem coming to the district under their own steam. As a son of Antwerp – I grew up in the city – I am proud of the success and growth of this refreshing ‘Made-in-Antwerp’ concept. However, there is no reason why this would not work elsewhere in the world as well. QUESTION: On another note, what is the major challenge of the upcoming holiday sales season? ANSWER: First of all, in our trade, one always needs to remain optimistic. Secondly, it’s all about the marketing message. For the jewellery, and diamond jewellery business in particular, this message needs to relate to emotion. In the North American and European markets the jewellery retailers will have to be innovative, convincing and competitive. Fortunately, reports of this autumn’s retail sales in North America are looking up again. At the same time, there is significant growth in the Asian market, in greater China and India. These shifts in the diamond market are keeping us all on our toes, and, excited.
Anyone who buys diamonds in Antwerp at some point will come into contact with the Diamond Office, or at least become aware of its existence and role. The Diamond Office is the department operated by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) that, in full coordination with governmental authorities, supervises Belgian diamond imports and exports. The Diamond Office assists members of the diamond trade in fulfilling all the legal requirements involved in the import and exports of diamonds, including licensing procedures. It also oversees and coordinates security measures related to the import and export of diamonds. It must be noted that Belgium’s import and export control system, as executed by the Diamond Office, has served as a model for similar agencies around the world. As a result of its efforts, the Belgian government and the AWDC have been recognised on numerous occasions by the United Nations, other countries and NGOs for their efforts in their struggle to end the trade in conflict diamonds. All loose diamonds imported into Belgium or exported from the country must be submitted to the Diamond Office which then corroborates the classification, quantities and qualities of the diamonds submitted, and verifies that its findings correspond with those listed on the accompanying documents. By centralising the operation of various government departments, the Diamond Office has succeeded in reducing the cost and time of importing and exporting loose diamonds. However, the Diamond Office is not involved in the shipping of diamonds to or from Antwerp. Shipping arrangements are made by the members of the diamond trade themselves, mostly through the forwarding companies that operate in the branch, such as Malca Amit, Brinks’ and others, some of whom are also sponsors of the third edition of the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair. The forwarders, in turn, all have at their disposal a proprietary, well-developed network that enables them to ship gems and jewellery around the world with extremely fast turnaround times. A buyer who submits his diamonds for shipping at a forwarder’s office will most often be told that he will have them on his desk on the other side of the world within 24 hours, without delay, or bureaucratic problems.
Interview with Willy Rotti, president of the Diamantclub van Antwerpen
Establishing a new fair is not easy. What is it about the ADTF formula that has enabled it to succeed? As is often the case with successful formulas, the concept of the ADTF has proven rather simple, but highly effective. By inviting a select range of diamond buyers to Antwerp, the majority of whom are prominent jewelry manufacturers and retailers, we offer a unique experience: direct access to many diamond companies on the floors of the trading halls of the Club and of the Beurs voor Diamanthandel (Antwerp Diamond Bourse). While many of these visitors may have done business with Antwerp companies, and perhaps even visited Antwerp diamond pavilions at international gem and jewelry shows, for many, this is a first, and an eye-opening, visit to Antwerp. Is there room for further expansion of the fair? Not at this point in time. By moving out to a larger facility, we would lose the exclusivity and also intimacy of the two trading halls. On the other hand, we have, however, broadened the target audience of the fair. While in 2010 and in 2011, we targeted mainly European jewellers, for the 2012 edition we’re inviting buyers from Asia and North America, too. It will create more traffic on the trading hall floors, but then we will know exactly how many visitors we can accommodate. How is it that the ADTF show is the first time that Antwerp has held its own international diamond fair? Obviously, times, and marketing methods, are changing. Our Club is more than a century old and is the oldest diamond exchange in the world. However, the leadership of our bourse recognized it needed to create added value services for its members, and give them a chance to develop new business. The ADTF is one of the many tools we offer to our members.
Interview with Maurice Fischler, president of the Beurs voor Diamanthandel
Why did your bourse originally establish the ADTF? For many years, our industry umbrella organization, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) has been instrumental in branding diamonds from Antwerp all over the world in different ways. Antwerp’s diamond trade is prominently showcased at international gem and jewellery shows throughout Asia and in the United States. However, before our bourse launched the ADTF in 2010, Antwerp did not have its own trade fair in Antwerp and that has now been remedied. In 2011, toward the second edition of the ADTF, our bourse joined forces with our sister bourse, the Diamantclub of Antwerp to expand the space available and the number of participants. The fair is now a firm fixture on the annual calendar of international gem and jewellery exhibitions. You expanded the target audience of the fair, from Europe to Asia and North America. Will it change the intimate character of the event? Absolutely not. The ADTF remains a by-invitation-only event, and applicants will be screened for their suitability. We intend to bring an exclusive group of diamond buyers to Antwerp who will have the opportunity to access the diamond capital’s inventory. The experience gathered during the first two editions helped us further define our target audience and ultimately fine-tune the list of invitees. With the show still some six months away, there is still a lot of work to be done, but I am confident the 2012 edition will be a success. Are diamond exchanges still relevant in their current format? A good question that needs to be considered by the leadership of each diamond bourse as the traditional ways of doing business in the diamond trade continues to change. As the world capital of diamonds, Antwerp is unique with no less than four diamond bourses serving its members. Each of these bourses has its own historical roots, but they all share the same goal: to enable their members to conduct their business in a safe and supportive environment while observing the business principles and ethics. No matter where, how and with whom bourse members conduct their business, they are always operating under the rules and regulations of their bourse, and, by extension of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses. Visitors to the fair will be operating under that same, invisible and protective umbrella. All that remains to be done is to make new connections, buy the right goods, and make a lot of new friends. Interview with Maurice Fischler, President of the Beurs voor Diamanthandel – Antwerp Diamond Bourse