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.