At the DDCA, we’d like to know the subtle differences between what a client asks when buying a diamond, and what a professional jeweller or diamond dealer asks when buying a diamond. We’ll be doing a series of video interviews on this subject, and for the first interview we decided to visit Raphael Jewellers at the Strand Arcade in Sydney. You can also follow them on Facebook by clicking here.
This week, DDCA President Rami Baron was interviewed by Rapaport News. The interview appears both on the diamonds.net news section and the Rapaport Weekly Report.
“Australia’s diamond trading community is relatively small but it operates in a stable and mature market. The Diamond Dealers Club of Australia (DDCA) aims to facilitate trade between local wholesalers and retailers while representing their needs as a member of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB). Rapaport News spoke with Rami Baron, president of the DDCA and owner of the Australian Jewellers Consortium and Q Report, about the market in Australia and some of the challenges facing the trade…”
Antwerp, Belgium – May 13, 2015: World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) President Ernie Blom has expressed his concern over a GIA statement that around 500 colourless to near-colourless diamonds were submitted, primarily to its grading laboratory in Ramat Gan, Israel, which were potentially subjected to an undisclosed temporary treatment.
“I am extremely concerned by this development,” Blom said in a statement. “This is clearly unlawful behaviour. We will have no tolerance whatsoever for this type of alleged illegal activity.
“It is crucial that this kind of unlawful action is stamped out. We are pleased that the GIA publicized this development so that diamantaires can be on their guard, and that the IDE is moving firmly in order to deal with this issue with the utmost seriousness. Our industry must come together to counter such activity, both for the good of our members and for the end-consumer who is always uppermost in our minds,” Blom added.
The GIA believes that the treatment temporarily hides the color of the diamonds submitted, giving a color grade that can be up to three grades higher than its actual grade. The GIA said it ended client agreements with the companies that submitted the diamonds and notified the relevant trade bodies.
The report numbers of the potentially treated stones are posted on GIA’s website, and anyone who has purchased or has access to any of these stones is requested to submit them to any GIA lab for a no-cost, accelerated review.
Hong Kong – April 29, 2015: Peter (Kar Shing) Cheng,Chairman of the Chow Tai Fook Foundation and a director of the eponymous firm, the world’s largest retail jewellery chain, has joined the board of the World Diamond Mark Foundation (WDMF), the all-industry organization that seeks to assist retail jewelers worldwide to promote diamonds and diamond jewellery to the end-consumer. Mr. Cheng’s joining the WDM board signifies the enormous importance the Asian downstream market relegates to the need for generic promotion and advertising of diamonds.
“We acknowledge Mr. Cheng and the Chow Tai Fook company for substantiating his ongoing commitment to the World Diamond Mark,” said Ernest Blom, president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses and WDMF Vice Chairman. “We look forward to Mr. Cheng’s contribution, in particular to his insights into the diamond jewellery consumer market in greater China,” Blom stated.
“Mr. Cheng has been involved in World Diamond Mark since its inception, providing valuable advice and hosting WDM think tank meetings. We are happy that Peter has taken his rightful place at world diamond and jewellery industry leaders’ table” Alex Popov, WDMF Chairman said.
For more information about the World Diamond Mark, visit www.worlddiamondmark.org
About Peter Cheng
Mr Peter Cheng is the Executive Director of New World China Land Limited and Deputy Managing Director of New World Development (China) Limited. He is also a Director of New World Development Company Limited, NWS Service Management Limited, New World Hotels (Holdings) Limited, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited, Hip Hing Construction Company Limited and Polytown Company Limited. Besides, Mr Cheng is a member of numerous non-profit making and charitable organizations such as: the Chairman of Chow Tai Fook Charity Foundation, the Chairman of Hong Kong Renal Centre Limited, the Chairman of The Welfare Fund Limited, the Vice Chairman of Hong Kong Economic Exchange and a Director of Green Council. He is the Commissar of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Guangzhou City and the University Assembly member, University of Macau. Mr Cheng, 62, holds BA from Indiana University and a master degree from UCLA.
About the World Diamond Mark
The World Diamond Mark® Foundation (WDMF) was founded on the premise that diamonds and diamond jewellery can and must perform significantly better in the luxury product consumer market. To reach that goal, the industry – from diamond producers to retail jewelers – is acting in unison to promote, advertise and market diamonds and diamond jewellery more effectively and visibly to the end-consumer. Established in 2012 by the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), the WDMF’s global objective is to boost consumer demand for diamonds and diamond jewellery.
Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels Sale achieved $65.1 million, a record for jewellery at Sotheby’s New York.
The sale was lead by the emerald-cut “Perfect Diamond” at a magnificent 100.20 cts. Only six perfect quality diamonds over 100 carats have been sold at auction in the last 25 years, making some justification for the final sale price of $22,090,000. Click the images below to see further details for the top 10 lots, organised here in order of value from highest to lowest. All are valued above $1 million!
Ernie Blom, president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, has issued a new policy on colour grading to all members of the organisation, issuing the following statement:
As we are all too aware, the issue of color grading has become controversial over the past year, with complaints regarding the standards of grading by some labs.
In this respect, I am sending the attached document: New Policy on Color Grading and Industry Best Practice. This is a joint statement supported by the WFDB, IDMA and CIBJO.
It is important that we stress the industry-wide support for this statement – from rough and polished manufacturers, traders and dealers to jewelry makers and retail operations. This policy statement makes it quite clear that there will be no hiding place for labs who break the rules.
Doing so cheats members of the diamond and jewelry industries, but it also could have a disastrous effect on consumer confidence. We must not only talk about the importance of consumer confidence, but show the steps we are taking to defend it.
Please forward this important document to all members of your bourse, stressing the importance in all its aspects – from moral to financial – of members supporting this policy and acting together to stamp out over-grading for which we can have nothing but zero tolerance.
New Policy on Color Grading and Industry Best Practice
In the framework of the present and intense industry debate on grading and representation of polished diamonds, the WORLD FEDERATION OF DIAMOND BOURSES (WFDB), the WORLD EWELLERY CONFEDERATION (CIBJO) and the INTERNATIONAL DIAMOND MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION (IDMA) direct a new policy to all accredited bourses, organizations and their members.
- The WFDB, CIBJO and IDMA direct their bourses and organizations to protect the integrity of diamonds and of the diamond trade and to maintain, implement and enforce upon their members high ethical standards in all areas including that of accurate descriptions and representations of diamonds.
- Within the framework of the above, the WFDB, CIBJO and IDMA announce their new policy defining and promoting best practice on color grading, through the diamond pipeline as set up below.
- Within current industry expertise, the industry-accepted standards and nomenclature based on master color sets (D-Z scale) of the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and the IDC (International Diamond Council), the development of new technology and present code of best practices, the WFDB, CIBJO and IDMA stipulate that the color grading of a diamond more than one grade from a broadly accepted industry benchmark, is unacceptable.
- In the event of a complaint, or a challenge to a report brought before the authorised body of a Bourse (including mediation or arbitration), the authorised body will determine the broadly accepted industry benchmark (GIA and IDC standards). In addition, the authorised body will submit the diamond to a leading, respected laboratory or to three (3) recognised expert gemologists or diamantaires, qualified to provide a report on any diamond in question in terms of which it shall determine whether the color grading exceeded accepted industry benchmark (GIA and IDC standards) by more than one grade.
- If the independent examination confirms that a breach has occurred, all necessary measures will be taken, including possible disciplinary actions.
- Future possible detailed recommendations, directives and sanctions to be taken in the event of violations may be sent to all relevant parties in order to be enforced by them, on their members, subject to the prevailing laws of any jurisdiction.
- The WFDB, CIBJO and IDMA are presently considering legal advice from different jurisdictions as to the integration of their respective recommendations within individual national jurisdictions, state and city laws.
- The WFDB, CIBJO and IDMA are issuing this new policy so as to provide clear and explicit guidance to their members regarding their proper future conduct and best practice, to publicise the policy and the possible severe disciplinary consequences in the event of any contraventions.
Ongoing investigations into various aspects of certification, already a focus of the WFDB, CIBJO and IDMA, will inform and help determine any future measures or adaptations to future recommended industry best practice.
The following is reproduced from
DDCA President Rami Baron’s blog.
For those who know me, know that I love technology and that I am constantly searching out the latest gadgets. I recently purchased a fabulous little tool which allows me to drag photos and movies off my iPhone and iPad onto a memory stick. The same stick has a USB plug on the reverse side so you can just plug it into your computer and drag the files across when you don’t have a reasonable phone or Wi-Fi connection… this is a life saver! I ended up buying four to give as gifts to some techno buddies.
This article isn’t about current tech gadgets; it’s about what innovations are to come, and how you might be able to innovate in your world.
Two months ago I wrote about the World Diamond Mark Conference and some of the innovations that we saw there.
Then there is Cooksongold who have a CAD program that interfaces directly into printing an item of jewellery into gold or Platinum. That’s right, you don’t have to make a wax mould! You can print direct into metal! Check out www.cooksongold-emanufacturing.com.
Are you aware that the both HRD and GIA are using a scanner to grade the colour of diamonds, and in HRD’s case, they have been doing so for a number of years already?
I can comfortably predict that a company like Sarine Technologies – if not the GIA themselves – would be close to developing a machine which is able to accurately and consistently grade the clarity of a diamond. This has to be the case as they are grading thousands of stones a day.
After all, we are talking about simply entering stored data from all the millions of certificates that they have on file. These have already been plotted in their data base against the results and, with the sophistication that Sarine has in grading rough diamond; this would be a “fait de complete”.
In fact, I don’t know what we are waiting for. Computer analysis would surely remove the issue of inconsistent grading that has, and will continue, to damage both the consumer confidence and the reputation of our diamond industry.
You might well ask, ‘what is next to impact on our industry’?
My answer? It’s called “deep thinking”.
Right now when you buy from Amazon it makes suggestions as to what other products you may wish to buy. The natural progression to this is where analytics programs are looking at your Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. In fact your overall web searches.
And this is just the beginning.
For now, this software can see what you are following, your interests, the brands you like, the famous people you watch, the food you like and the events you are interested in.
Now let’s go another level deeper.
What about the fact that this “deep thinking” software can actually see the images you look at. Let me explain.
The program doesn’t look at an image as a host of colour pixels; it actually understands what it is seeing. It is seeing you on Facebook wearing, for example, a red high neck, mid-thigh dress.
It looks at your shoes, your hair style, and other people in your photo who have been tagged, and scans their profile, so it understands your socio economic status. The analysis identifies brands associated with you and your friends and possible price points.
Is it so farfetched to think that a website could recommend to you a piece of jewellery you or your customer would love, and that falls into the perfect price range? In the future, this information could be available to the retailer!
Your customer walks into your store and you get a message on the screen of their buying history and suggestions of what they would like.
This is not science fiction!!!
During my most recent stay in my favourite Hong Kong hotel I was impressed when a staff member approached me and asked to take my photo. Why? So that other staff members could identify me in future as one of their regular patrons.
I must say I had never thought of doing this in a store, though it begs the question, why don’t we?
Frankly, why not? It’s not an invasion of privacy – providing you ask first.
What if you issued your customers with a rewards card with a built in RFID chip? With a small RFID reader at the entrance, when the regular customer comes into your store, their picture and purchase history would automatically pop up on your screen.
Who doesn’t love being remembered and identified by name? It’s personalising service that is making the difference in today’s market.
The wild innovations I have just touched on are already being implemented by some; but many of these innovations are things you and I could do now!
Let me finish with a story I heard at breakfast. A men’s tailor in Sydney was just kicked out of a major shopping centre. Determined to succeed he started to put photos up every day on Instagram. He began following every male fashion model and every bridal site he could worldwide. He became more creative with his suits and just worked off referrals.
Using this tried and tested technique, he sent one of his suits to a top model as a gift to wear and asked that he post some pics of himself on Instagram. In less than two years he has been asked to exhibit in New York at one of the most renowned fashions weeks…
Let’s not complain about how things are bad or different, but ask ourselves how we can use the innovative technology around us today in business.
DDCA President Rami Baron recently returned from the WFDB Exco Meeting and Asia Summit. The summit ended after comprehensive talks on critical issues affecting all WFDB members. He also managed to snap a few pics in the process, see below!
“The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) Executive Committee (Exco) Meeting and Asia-Pacific Presidents’ Summit held in Shanghai on March 9 and 10 have ended after two days of intensive discussions on a range of crucial issues affecting the global diamond industry. Regional WFDB presidents, along with WFDB President Ernie Blom, were hosted by the Shanghai Diamond Exchange.
Among the issues discussed by Blom and the presidents of diamond exchanges in the region, including China, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Russia, were declining profitability for the WFDB’s members due to high rough prices and falling polished prices, as well as the decrease in bank credit to the diamond trade and the necessity of boosting consumer demand via generic promotion campaigns…”
Diamond cutting vastly improves the brilliance and sparkle of rough diamonds. Diamonds often come out of the ground looking like any other rock – we can step in to release their inner beauty and lustre.
But sometimes, a rough diamond can also be a thing of beauty. When they form, diamonds crystallise as octohedrons, cubes or dodecahedrons, can even exhibit two or more of these shapes, and little triangles called trigons may be visible on the surface.
Many of the images below are higher resolution than they are displayed, click on them to see the larger version.
The following article by DDCA President Rami Baron was recently published in the Jewellers Trade Magazine
I had intentions of writing a very different article this month, however in light of the launch of our new website and the exciting goals that the DDCA plan to achieve for our members, I felt it appropriate to share with you why I am a member of this club and in particular, what it means in the world of diamonds, and for me personally.
Many of you may have received emails from the club announcing a new website, and in particular having Tamara Gabay brought on as General Manager. Having someone who has been exposed to the international diamond community will definitely help members better understand the interconnected nature of our industry.
The new website we have created is targeting two different segments. The first is the traditional diamond dealer in Australia. We understand that the local diamond dealer has to deal with trade shows, RAPNET, IDEX, international dealers’ websites, and the odd merchant flying in from overseas, trying to dump goods.
The issue is what can, and does, the local diamond dealer provide you with and what can we do as a club to protect this local interest? Let’s not be naïve. Retailers need dealers and visa versa. No retailer nor wholesaler can carry everything and (in particular) for a retailer to be able to access goods within 24 hours is the difference between the make or break of the big sale.
To this end the club has demanded that all the merchants who want to become a member of the DDCA have a business set up and offices in Australia. Above all else when they list their goods on the new diamond trading portal they must have these goods in country. Yes there are times when you will pay more for these diamonds than the price listed on a foreign website, but you didn’t have to put up the money upfront to bring the stone in, nor demand your customer pays upfront before you can even show it to them.
The diamond trading portal is simply about connecting wholesalers to retailers, it’s about giving you choices, it’s about giving you a price guide of diamonds in Australia. Specifically for the diamond wholesaler, it’s about connecting them to small and often under the radar jewellery workshops that they may never have known existed nor had a chance to get to.
Our portal will have a rating system built in by the time this article is published. This means that both the merchant and the retailer will be able to rate each other and their standards of service. For a wholesaler, in time this will mean that when a new retailer makes a request to see a stone – from someone they haven’t ever dealt with, but they see a five diamond rating for this business – they could be very confident that this is an excellent referral, and could work quickly with this new jeweller to secure a sale. For the retailer, or a young and up-and-coming bench jeweller, they could build an excellent reputation in the trade by paying their bills on time and showing their professionalism to unknown merchants. This could be the difference between having two or three merchants happy to send them a couple of larger stones to show customers.
For the retailer the DDCA is about us promoting the retailer to the consumer, in terms of them being a person of integrity. How impressive is it being a member the International Diamond Organisation, the WFDB .
The DDCA is investing heavily in a social media programme to raise the profile of the club in the eyes of consumers. Every retail member will be given a space on the front page of the site to promote themselves and a link to their website.
As many of you know last year we held – in conjunction with the Gemmological Association, The Jewellery Association and the Valuers Association – a presentation about synthetic diamonds. We are determined to present programmes in a similar vein once or twice a year to bring members of the industry together; to open a line of communication and to see how we can all increase our sales in the luxury market.
However, doing all these things means sacrifice, time and even some money. Being able to have a conversation with a jeweller from another region, ask questions from someone who experiences the same issues and problems that you do, but isn’t competing with you directly. Just a couple of helpful tips or pointers on who they use, how they overcome an issue – it’s all so helpful when you can speak to a colleague who really understands the pressures you are faced with day to day.
There are numerous other benefits that the club will bring, but let me share some of my experiences to date.
Since I began participating in the DDCA, I have met and become friends with diamond dealers in 30 Clubs around the world, invited to the USA, Thailand, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, Antwerp Dubai, Turkey, Singapore, London, Russia and China and some, multiple times. Dinned with CEO’S of the biggest diamond mines in the world and visited cutting factories with thousands of employees. Entered diamond dealers worlds where hundreds of millions of dollars of goods were at my fingertips. Pinching myself when I have participated in discussions on fair trade and banking regulations which could change the face of how diamonds are traded worldwide. The highlight of it all is being instrumental in the launching of the World Diamond Mark, a generic marketing program for diamonds.
(More about that later)
I could go on and on about the incredible private tours, the entry into rarefied spaces where so few have ever been invited.
However at the end of the day it’s about the people, the different cultures, the camaraderie and the ability to be exposed to what the world has to offer.
Yes I do this travel at my expense, but who wouldn’t?
Since I was elected to the executive board of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses I have invested hundreds of hours willingly, contributing ideas and participating in discussions which improve the conditions for all in the trade, but I am one of a number who have done so for years and continue to do so.
I consider it an honour and a privilege to do so, and I am the first to admit, it is so inspiring to participate. I consider myself so fortunate.
We all get caught up in day to day life. Business is hard and seems to be getting harder. The only solution I see is that one needs support and inspiration. What better way to gain this than being a member of our club? With nearly 20,000 members worldwide and the ability to learn about the next big thing before it hits the market, I would recommend you to visit our website, ddca.org.au and contact Tamara to know more.
I personally invite you to become a member of the DDCA and together lets ignite the Australian Diamond Jewellery industry; we all know we live in the best place in the world… let’s make it even better.
WFDB President Ernie Blom responded optimistically while fielding questions at International Diamond Week:
“I have no doubt that within the year, and the years to come, that diamonds and diamond jewellery will definitely grow in value. Especially as the supply cannot meet the demand that is going to come from the Far East.”