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…