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Jeweller May 2011


The enduring allure of pearls The growth, benefits and pitfalls of ecommerce and social media Post robbery: dos and don’ts The Jeweller is produced in conjunction with the British Jewellers’ Association

The Voice of The Industry

For further information – Tel: 01403 790902

Contents |


Jeweller The Voice of The Industry



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Pearl Variations



Editor’s Letter


Industry News


28 NAG News


of pearls is as much to do with innovative

Member of the Month


design as with timeless classicism

Education & Training


IRV Review


BJA News


BJA Simon Says


Opinion: John Henn


Ethical Jeweller


BJA Wedding Jewellery


Security Update




Display Cabinet


The Last Word


Belinda Morris discovers the everlasting allure

The Social Network


Tom Allen reports on the growth, benefits and pitfalls of ecommerce and social media

Click Here


The growth of B2B online marketing is being experienced in the jewellery industry says Mary Brittain

Post Robbery: the dos and don’ts


Neil McFarlane of TH March offers a step-by-step

The Jeweller is published by CUBE Publishing on behalf of the National Association of Goldsmiths for circulation to members. For further information about The Jeweller please visit:

guide on procedures to follow should a robbery

The magazine is printed on paper and board that has met acceptable environmental accreditation standards.

occur at your premises

The National Association of Goldsmiths 78a Luke Street,

Cover Image Cover image courtesy of Euro Pearls Group Tel: +44 (0)20 7025 0700

London EC2A 4XG Tel: 020 7613 4445 Editor: Belinda Morris

CUBE Publishing Sales Director: Ian Francis Tel: 020 7833 5500 Art Director: Ben Page

Tel: 01692 538007

Publisher: Neil Oakford

BJA Marketing & PR Manager


Lindsey Straughton

Tom Allen, Mary Brittain,

John Henn, Miles Hoare,

Tel: 0121 237 1110

Greg Valerio

Although every effort is made to ensure that the information supplied is accurate, the NAG disclaims and/or does not accept liability for any loss, damage or claim whatsoever that may result from the information given. Information and ideas are for guidance only and members should always consult their own professional advisers. The publisher accepts no responsibility for any advertiser, advertisement or insert in The Jeweller. Anyone having dealings with any advertiser must rely on their own enquiries.

The Voice of the Industry 3

| Comment

Communiqué M I C H A E L

H O A R E ’ S

With an overview of NAG and industry-wide initiatives and developments to look forward to this year, Michael Hoare plants a few ideas to ensure that jewellery businesses continue flourishing in the current climate.

Growing in Confidence ith spring bursting out all over, thoughts of growth, and more particularly, growing your own are definitely in the air. Visitors to our stand at The Jewellery Show at Spring Fair may have wondered what our display of fruit and vegetables was all about, but the more perceptive will have realised that in these days of austerity it is ever more important to make the most of scarce resources and nurture what you already have. So, in the spirit of wartime frugality, we are emphasising ‘Grow Your Own!’, be that your staff, your community of interest, or your business. In the same vein we are encouraging members to think about the resources that are already available to them from their Association. This could be: growing their business expertise via the Executive Development Forum; their staff through NAG education and training; or simply their knowledge by reading The Jeweller; or getting involved in our programme of courses, roundtables and Council meetings. Getting involved is important though, because the essence of a trade association is that better results come from getting together – and they come at a lower cost too!


4 The Jeweller May 2011

We have proved this with initiatives such as the NAG Institute of Registered Valuers (IRV), where standards have been driven upwards, such that many insurance companies now specify IRV valuations; and the SaferGems initiative, where, together with our partners T H March, we have instigated real improvements in the gathering of crime intelligence. Quite recently we launched a series of ‘round table’ meetings designed to prompt innovative thought on industry issues. We kicked off with the subject of succession planning, which is close to many hearts at the moment. This month we tackle the subject of ‘insider crime’, which should get the creative juices going. Despite being responsible for over a third of retail losses, internal employee-driven dishonesty remains an enigma, going largely unreported, and representing a significant chunk of unrecorded crime. Which begs the questions: what encourages internal dishonesty; what are the gaps in the capability of retail security; what methods might minimise internal loss; and finally, are retail managers and in-house investigators equipped to manage internal loss investigations? Read the results of our deliberations in next month’s Jeweller.

Next up we will be looking at how best to enliven our trading environments through local action; the trends that have seen shoppers lean towards out-of-town retail centres and the disappearance of high street shops. The issues that encourage migration to 'ring-road' shopping complexes, and can lead to the downfall of the market town, include accessibility, price competition and parking, and we will be looking at ways to redress the balance with the help of Action for Market Towns (AMT). In September, as part of International Jewellery London, the NAG is sponsoring a series of workshops looking again at some of these serious subjects. Among other topics Chris Wade from AMT will be looking at the issues above and Alan Townsend will bring everyone up to date with SaferGems, which is helping solve crime against jewellers.

The essence of a trade association is that better results come from getting together – and they come at a lower cost too! In March, Chris was one of the guest speakers at our Council meeting where an audience of over forty considered ‘people and places’ as part of our ‘Grow Your Own’ initiative. Leon Foster-Hill looked at ‘people’ as part of the business equation, and particularly the way that demographics have played their part in extending working lives, and John McDermott from the Retail Trust explained the safety net that they have in place for retail employees when they hit hard times. We will be returning to all these subjects in articles, workshops, and discussion groups, in the coming weeks.

Comment | Growing Securely f industry crime surveys are correct, the number of thefts from all shops rises year on year, with an incident occurring nearly every minute of every day. By its very nature, jewellery retailing carries higher risks than many other sectors. Regrettably, the reasons for the upsurge in crime and how we as a society pay to tackle it are too complex to discuss here, but in the final analysis we clearly face an ever present threat, and current financial constraints do not help! We’re inevitably faced with demanding that the police squeeze more out of fewer resources. So if we can help reduce the risks to our own premises, and use police time more effectively, it’s got to be a good thing. That is why, in the wake of last years’ high profile West End robberies, I joined a group of London jewellers and industry experts under the guidance of the Metropolitan Police, to exchange intelligence and look at the best ways to tackle crime. One of our early achievements is the publication of a ‘Minimum Standards’ guide to jewellers’ security measures. The sponsors, including NAG, BJA, NPA and Met Police, hope that, in conjunction with insurers’ advice, it will answer some of the more basic questions, and act as a template for businesses’ own security needs. Mark Beale, from the Metropolitan Police, will be addressing the standards and jewellery crime in general in an NAG workshop at International Jewellery London in September. Marks’ message will emphasise that good security is dependent on introducing not just the right equipment installed by reputable companies, but also the right systems and training for staff; and regular maintenance schedules for optimum performance.


Growing Stronger ondon Jewellery Week, British Silver Week, Pewter Live… the first couple of weeks of June are positively chock full of initiatives, and there can be little doubt that we are in for a feast of jewellery. As long term supporters of all three events, we at the NAG are heartened to see such valiant efforts going into the education of the public, and I for one am fully behind them. I’m sure my slightly caustic remarks about LJW had little to do with events, but the organisers have now taken on board the notion that they should be a bit more egalitarian in their approach, and have signed up media partners that better reflect the great breadth of consumer opinion. After all, this show isn’t just for the very posh, or just for Londoners for that matter, so let’s all climb on board ( and get maximum publicity for retail jewellers everywhere.


Gone to Seed o much for ‘growing your own’. We think we’ve sewn plenty of seeds already this year, in the form of new ideas, business initiatives, and educational developments. Now it’s up to you to reap the harvest of brighter, better informed, and more productive staff, and hopefully a healthier business. We can help your crop grow with barrow loads of training ‘fertiliser’ as the year progresses. But, of course the real hard work will start in the autumn when we introduce our new ‘dig for victory’ theme… only joking!


The Voice of the Industry 5

Comment | This month: ... the introduction of



different materials – whether gemstones, less commonly-used metals or elements like leather and ribbon – is adding a new, modern dimension

o, how was it for you? I’m talking about the double helping of long weekends with the


extra dollop of uncharacteristically warm weather thrown in. I’m sitting outside while

writing this – interrupted only by squabbling swallows – and it feels pretty good. An enforced break is quite a bonus – but I also have the slightly queasy sense of panic (hence bringing my work home) that always comes with the short week that follows. I imagine that the need to catch up with things (like sales targets for instance) applies equally to the retail world. Well, let’s hope that the buying public is feeling in the mood to spend after their short hiatus from

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conspicuous consumption. Although, of course, for those who can’t bear to miss a shopping opportunity, there’s always e-commerce. In this issue Tom Allen looks at the subject of selling on line – an aspect

…one of the biggest

of jewellery retailing that is becoming increasingly widespread. But is it all that it is cracked

investments you'll make

up to be? How do you get it right and what are the implications of getting it wrong? We

is your time – do not

also discover the ways in which B2B websites are changing how suppliers reach and communicate with you, their retail customers. Having planned most of our features a year in advance, I couldn’t have known that I’d be

underestimate how long you will have to spend making

writing about pearls – traditionally regarded as bridal favourites – just as the whole country

sure that the website you

(it seems) is working itself up to a fever pitch over a wedding. And, because I imagine

launch is perfect

that you’ve probably had your fill of all things nuptial for a week or two, I have steered well away from that particular avenue. Which is fine, because pearls – while still being popular for wedding jewellery (and for significant occasion gifts) – have come into their own as star players in bold and beautiful fashion statement pieces. I appreciate that pearl-wise, for many, classic is still best, but what’s wrong with a little inspiration and aspiration from time to time? And if anyone who loves me is reading this… it’s my birthday soon.

If you would like to comment on any of the issues raised in this edition of The Jeweller or any other trade-related matters please email the editor at:

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The Voice of the Industry 7

| Industry News

Industry rallies to defend hallmarking ollowing last month’s drive by the UK Government to reduce regulation – under the banner of The Red Tape Challenge – the jewellery industry has rallied to defend one of the regulations in question: hallmarking. The deadline for the UK electorate to give feedback via the Cabinet Office website was 5th May (while this issue was being printed) but at time of going to press 5,000 plus comments have been posted with the weight of opinion wholeheartedly in favour of keeping hallmarking exactly as it is – according to Michael Allchin, CEO of the Birmingham Assay Office. “For hallmarking to be abolished by default after 700 years because no one responded to the Red Tape Challenge website would have been a travesty,” he says. “As an assay office our statutory duty is to protect the consumer and the trade and so, with the integrity of our industry at risk, we and other interested parties have sprung into action. “The response from the industry and consumers has been fantastic and what is particularly notable is that the key trade associations and buying groups from the industry have worked together to voice a united opinion,” he adds. “This is the first time we have campaigned with the benefit of the Internet and social networking and [these] have undoubtedly made it easier for people to express their opinion.” In addition to the website comments, in the first three weeks the industry has delivered regional and national tv and radio coverage and several missives to the Prime Minister and other MPs. “It is heartening to know that there are so many who value the hallmark enough to make the effort to voice their opinions. I sincerely hope that the Government is listening and that common sense will prevail… until the next time,” says Allchin.


Freddy Hager passes away he AGM of the London Diamond Bourse (LDB), to be held on 11th May 2011, will be dedicated to the memory of its late president, Mr Freddy Hager who died suddenly last month. The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), along with members of the global diamond and jewellery industries are mourning the passing of Mr Hager, a well-respected and loved figure in his own community as well as the wider gem and jewellery one, who was in his early 60s. Harry Levy, who was vice president of the LDB and earlier this month was appointed as Mr Hager’s successor, was deeply shocked and saddened by Mr Hager’s death and says he will miss him greatly. “He was a wonderful man with a great head on his shoulders, and not a man who had a desire to be honoured and was a hands-on president,” he said. “He was a man of passion and wouldn't hold back if he didn't agree with something that was being said – but he would happily take advice. He also had a terrific sense of humour.” “The loss of Freddy is immense for so many of us,” said Avi Paz, president of the WFDB. “He was a friend, a mentor, a visionary and a person who worked tirelessly behind the scenes for the WFDB, his bourse's own members, his community, and of course for his family. He was a gentleman who was always absolutely frank and straight-forward. Our hearts go out to his wife Louise, his children and grandchildren.” Hager entered the diamond business in 1974 in London and in 1980 was elected to the management committee of the LDB, becoming its president in 1991. Three years later he oversaw its merger with the London Diamond Club. He was elected to the WFDB’s Executive Committee in 2000, and served as deputy treasurer general and as chairman of the Trade and Promotions Committee. He was also a founder member of the World Diamond Council.


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The royal jewels revealed hanks to a diaphanous silk tulle veil, the jewellery worn by Catherine Middleton on her wedding day was clearly visible from the moment she stepped out of the limousine that took her to Westminster Abbey. The choice of tiara was revealed to be the ‘halo’ style created by Cartier in 1936 and bought by King George Vl for his wife, who then gave it to her daughter, Queen Elizabeth on her 18th birthday. Set with 1,311 diamonds it cost £1,800 at the time (around £94,000 today). The Queen loaned the tiara – which has never been worn in public before now – to Catherine for the occasion and the earrings the Duchess of Cambridge wore (top image) were a gift from her parents and were made by Pimlico jewellers Robinson Pelham. Featuring diamond set oak leaves with a centre pear cut diamond drop and a pave set diamond acorn, the design echoed the theme of the newly-created Middleton family crest. Michael Middleton and his son James wore gold stick pins featuring an oak leaf and an acorn. Catherine’s sister Pippa’s floral motif earrings and Carole Middleton’s tourmaline and diamond earrings and pendant were also made by Robinson Pelham. The wedding ring – a simple gold band – was made by Royal Warrant holders Wartski from a piece of Welsh gold, which the Queen gave to Prince William when the engagement was announced. The media hoo-ha over the identity of the designer of Catherine’s wedding dress almost completely overshadowed any speculation regarding the royal jewels she might be wearing. But for some gamblers her choice of tiara provided ample reason to get excited about the wedding. One bet £6,000 on the 180 year old George lll tiara being chosen… Our commiserations to the misguided punter!


Industry News |

English Heritage unveils JW Evans hidden treasure aving stepped in three years ago and acquired JW Evans for the nation, English Heritage is now ready to open the doors of this family silverware factory which was founded in 1881 in the heart of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. Guided tours of the rabbit warren of workshops will be available between 1st June and 31st October. EH conservator, Beth Stanley, said: “When we first walked into the building it was like entering a lost world. Everything was still here – workshops packed with machinery, tools and equipment piled up on every workbench, every wall covered with racks of steel dies, the stock rooms full of parts ready for assembly, the office with the last orders taken still pinned up on the wall. Even the pictures of football teams over the employees’ workbenches were intact. “All the building contents were protected and stayed exactly where they were – even the dust. Crumbling plaster and flaking paint were consolidated, not renewed. We’ve even kept the old lights, threading new wiring along the rusty conduits. The end result is wonderful – it looks just like it did when we first arrived.” JW Evans’ heyday was prior to WW1 and was still strong up to 1977. However, as silverware for the table fell out of fashion the business went into decline. Tony Evans, grandson of the firm’s founder, retired in 2005 and has worked with EH to explain how the workshops functioned and to train the volunteer guides.


Slight rise in retail sales espite more gloomy figures issued by the British Retail Consortium, official retail figures released by the Office of National Statistics last month indicated a small improvement in the volume of retail sales – an increase of 1.3 per cent in March 2011 compared to March 2010. From February to March 2011 retail sales volumes increased by 0.1 per cent. Commenting on the figures, Michael Hoare, CEO of the NAG said: “Jewellers are having a fairly torrid time with the price of their principle raw material, gold, having spiked at $1,500 an ounce before Easter, and this is beginning to feed through to the cost of stock-holding. Of course there are some who are doing better than others, but on average the members of our Executive Development Forum are showing about 6 per cent cumulative sales growth between January and March, and are fighting back after a slow start to the year. Given the lack of consumer confidence in general, this is a remarkable result, however I can’t predict how long it will continue.”


Pearl-testing advances he GIA has announced ‘significant advances’ in its pearl testing process, which is now able to produce high-definition, rotational 3D images of internal growth structures of pearls, thanks to highly advanced micro-CT X-ray units. This new technology enables GIA labs to assess much larger groups of pearls more quickly and in greater detail and the Institute continues to closely monitor natural and cultured pearl markets to protect and inform the consumer as well as the industry.


S N I P P E T S Robert Croydon Robert Croydon, 67, owner of Winsor Bishop jewellers in Norwich, a former president as well as chairman of the NAG, died last month after a long battle with cancer. A fifth generation of Croydon Jewellers in Suffolk, he was appointed manager of Winsor Bishop in 1996 and was able to buy the business in 2001. His youngest daughter Sophie Fulford took over the reins six years ago. We will run a full tribute to Mr Croydon in next month’s issue of The Jeweller. Daisy Lowe is ‘face’ of Stephen Webster London-based jewellery designer Stephen Webster has revealed ‘celebrity’ rock chick, Brit model Daisy Lowe as the new face of his autumn 2011 advertising campaign. The ‘Murder She Wrote’ fine jewellery collection, ‘Superstud’ and ‘Les Dents de la Mer’ silver collections will be shot by artist Mat Collishaw. New Designers dates Stephen Webster will open Part 1 of New Designers (the jewellery section of the graduates’ show) which is returning to the Business Design Centre in Islington, London (29th June - 2nd July). He will also be presenting awards at the VIP preview evening. Readers of The Jeweller who wish to attend can purchase tickets for £8.50 (+£1.50 booking fee) instead of £14. Visit: and quote code ND69. Beaverbrooks updates website Highstreet jeweller Beaverbrooks has unveiled its new e-commerce website which has been designed to offer shoppers ‘an enhanced user experience’. Built by Manchester-based web agency CTI Digital, the site offers a choice of over 4,500 products from the Beaverbrooks catalogue. Roger Fairhurst, head of multi-channel at Beaverbrooks, said: “Our main objective was to provide a purchasing platform for our customers which is very much in-line and in keeping with our high street stores. We wanted to turn our site around to make it more userfriendly… and allows our customers to find exactly what they want.”

The Voice of the Industry 9

| Industry News

Domino launches Platinum Profits Kit ast month Domino launched the ‘Platinum Profits Kit’ – a new retailer solution which provides marketing, merchandising and training support for platinum jewellery retailers. Invited customers were given a preview of the initiative at the company’s creative suite in Birmingham, where the new bridal jewellery collection was also revealed. “We want to develop business partnerships with our customers,” explains Andrew Sollitt, sales and marketing director. “Selling platinum is the end point. Our clients need to be able to promote it on a variety of communications channels, display it to reflect the value, and explain why it is the best white metal for bridal to their customers. We want to help secure the transaction”. On purchase of five pieces from the collection, customers receive the kit which has been developed in collaboration with Platinum Guild International and contains practical tools and information under the strap line “When Forever Means Forever”. Included is an in-store platinum film, buyer’s guides, a merchandising display and metal comparison matrix. As part of the kit, Domino will also be hosting PGI’s new ‘Platinum Principles’ training sessions at their facility.


S N I P P E T S Since 1853 to distribute watch brand UK-based watch distributor Since 1853 Ltd has been appointed the official UK distributor of Swiss watchmaker Revue Thommen – which has been producing watches by hand since 1853. The 2011 watch collection comprises 265 individual models – all handbuilt to order – and retailing between £575 and £11,400. As an authorised agent, Since 1853 has been selling Revue Thommen direct to the consumer for the past four years. Fellows launches App To reduce its carbon footprint auctioneers Fellows have decided to cut down on the number of catalogues it produces and launch an iPad App. A simple swipe allows potential bidders to view single and double-page spreads from the catalogue. The App will alert users when a new catalogue is available. Gold mining in Scotland on hold

Birmingham Assay office training he Birmingham Assay Office has announced its training programme for the months ahead. Aimed to give retail staff the confidence to use a diamond certificate as a sales tool, the ‘How to sell Certificated Diamonds’ course will be held on 10th May, 12th July and 13th September. ‘Understanding Diamonds’ is a practical day to give delegates comprehensive knowledge of the four Cs, information about the most common treatments and how to detect synthetics. This course will be held on 7th June, 21st July and 27th September. In addition, places are still available for two of the Birmingham Assay Office’s popular half-day Hallmarking Seminars: 25th May and 22nd June. The course includes an interactive, hands-on hallmarking session, a summary of the UK Hallmarking Act and an overview of the UK jewellery market. For information on all courses and to book a place contact: or call: 0871 871 6020


Gary Williams joins Mastermelts ary Williams, the vice chairman of the BJA and former Brown & Newirth director and ‘driving force’, is to “return to the mainstream trade” by joining the precious metal recycling group Pressman Mastermelt. Along with developing ‘Pressman Bullion’ in Hatton Garden, which dates back to 1945 and is arguably the UK’s oldest and best known ‘trade only’ gold buying counter, Williams’ role will be to further develop the group’s other reclamation business within the jewellery and allied trades, both at home and abroad. “I was approached by the group’s president, Robert Davis, who wanted me to join the Mastermelts’ family. I did my research and found that although the various Anglo-American divisions are incredibly diverse, collectively they share a first rate, worldwide reputation, for reliability and integrity, an absolute must, when dealing with precious metal reclamation. I was on the verge of going back into manufacturing but decided that this opportunity was simply too good to miss,” says Williams.


10 The Jeweller May 2011

Scotgold Resources, the company planning to mine for gold in Loch Lomond National Park has withdrawn its appeal against the decision to refuse planning permission. Instead it will submit a new proposal within the next two months. Scotgold believes that the mine could produce 20,000 oz of gold and 80,000 oz of silver annually. Should the plan go ahead, it will be the first time in more than 500 years that gold has been extracted from a Scottish mine. Artur Beller dies The World Federation of Diamond Bourses mourns the death last month of Artur Beller, the president of the Antwerp Diamond Bourse, who also served as president of the Belgian Federation of Diamond Bourses. Born in 1934 he was involved in the diamond industry for almost 60 years. “As a member of the of the generation that rebuilt the Antwerp diamond sector after World War II, Artur served among its leadership for almost 30 years, playing an absolutely critical role,” says Avi Paz, president of the WFDB. “He was a true intellect, with a deep understanding not only of our industry, but of the business world in general. We have lost a mentor, advisor and friend. Our sympathies go out to his family and colleagues.”

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| NAG News

The EDF Oxford Congress 2011

he 16th June will see the third annual Executive Development Forum Oxford Congress. We are delighted to return to what is becoming the Congress’s ‘home’ at the Saïd Business School, Oxford. As in previous years there will be two main, but different, themes. With the complexities and penalties of employment law increasing year on year, it is important to understand a number of key aspects – both of implementation and adherence. With this in mind we will welcome Jane Hilyer of Aaron and Partners, who is a practicing expert, to update us on developments in employment law and how to avoid many of the usual and less common pitfalls. The second main focus of the day is the ‘black art’ of social media. It is undoubtedly the topic of most commercial interest as internet and telecommunications-based services move out from the personal domain and into the business world. Having a website is now a given and is no longer regarded as the only electronic link with the consumer. With this in mind, Rebecca van Rooijen from Benchpeg will talk delegates through the benefits of the gamut of social media and how they can be used in an effective and secure way. In addition to this, as EDFers have a constant hunger for information on directions in the world of jewellery, Maia Adams of Adorn Insight will explain how fashion trends develop, how they are translated to jewellery, and what may be emerging as future trends. The 16th June promises to be another interesting, stimulating and informative Congress – but it is nothing without you, the members. The event is, of course, open to all NAG members and is an excellent opportunity to find out what membership of the EDF could mean to your business. So make sure the date is in the diary and look forward to networking with your fellow NAG and EDF members and guests!


Costs and Bookings EDF members: £160 (second delegates from the same company: £85) Non-EDF members: £265. All prices plus VAT. For more information or to book your place for the Congress, telephone 020 7613 4445 or send an to email Ritu Verma at: or Amanda White:

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Sponsors of the Oxford Congress

BBC 2 calls for participants t the beginning of this year, the NAG started researching the current state of business handovers in the retail jewellery sector. Known for its continuance of family businesses over a number of generations, it faces a wealth of problems when it comes to handing over the firm and companies in this position need knowledge and support to see them through these difficult exchanges. And it seems that we’re not the only association to notice such issues. Recently, we’ve been contacted by researchers at BBC 2, seeking participants for a new documentary series looking for family run businesses facing a dilemma or issue. If you are having problems with a succession, either in terms of who will take over the running of the business or preparing the ground for the next generation, the BBC would like to hear from you. To learn more call Naomi Templeton (casting producer) on: 020 7438 1812 or email:


Reduced merchant service charges for NAG members embers can enjoy the benefits of reduced merchant service charges when they sign up to the special NAG scheme with HSBC Merchant Services. Currently more than 250 Members belong to the scheme and about 700,000 transactions a year mean turnover is currently in excess of £100 million a year. Rates start at as little as 1.298 per cent for credit card transactions and 18.1 pence for debit cards. Rates for those with over £500,000 going through their terminals are by individual negotiation and may be even less. Those wishing to sign up or who qualify for individual rates should ring 0800 731 8921 for a confidential discussion. The NAG’s finance manager, Amanda Reavell, says: “I am sure that all members will be looking for ways to reduce their costs in the current financial environment, and it is all too easy to overlook this area of expenditure.”


NAG News |

Red Tape Challenge n 7th April the UK Government’s launched its drive to reduce regulation under the banner of The Red Tape Challenge. The intention is that every few weeks the Government will publish all the regulations affecting one specific sector or industry, and the electorate will then be asked to respond via the Cabinet Office website, giving their views on ‘what’s working and what’s not, what can be simplified and what can be scrapped’. Based on that feedback, the Government is promising to ‘start getting rid of unnecessary red tape’. The first ‘Challenge’ listed was the retail sector, and electors were asked to respond by 5th of May, giving their views on eight sets of retail regulations from Restricted Goods to Trading with the Enemy. A great deal of publicity was generated by the implied threat to ‘sweep away’ the Hallmarking Regulations, but it was equally important to note that the Sunday Trading Regulations are of equal importance to the retail trade, and the legislation on weights and measures may also have an impact. The NAG joined forces with other trade organisations in a collective response to the threat to hallmarking, but also encouraged members of the public to get involved in the knowledge that hallmarking is one of the fundamental consumer protection measures in the UK. Commenting on the measures, NAG CEO Michael Hoare said: “I think the industry would welcome open and honest debate about hallmarking. But this smacks of the Government attempting to develop its ‘populist’ credentials so that it can be said to have dealt a blow to red tape. Unfortunately, it is all too possible that the public’s reaction will be ill-considered. Fuelled by the desire to ‘get even’ with bureaucracy they may sweep away a major piece of consumer protection legislation. Then we will all be losers!”


NAG Golf Challenge Trophy he NAG Challenge Trophy, sponsored by Bransom Retail Systems Ltd, is to be held on Monday the 13th of June, at Fulford Golf Club in York, and promises to be another exciting year. There are various sponsorship opportunities with this event (other than those already taken) and some magnificent prizes to be won – including a Samsung ST100 12MP camera with Bluetooth and GPS capability (kindly sponsored by Clarity and Success). This season there will be a number of golfing events and here are a few that are already planned: • Scottish Jewellers Tournament: early June, venue to be confirmed • NAG Challenge Trophy: 13th June, Fulford Golf Club, York • BJA Golf Tournament 22nd June, Shirley Golf Course, Birmingham • TH March hosts BJA vs NAG Golf Tournament Week commencing 4th July, venue to be confirmed • NAG Yorkshire Centre Golf Competition 18th August, Woodsome Golf Club, near Huddersfield. For details call Frank Wood on tel: 01904 625274 or email:


New Member Applications Members wishing to comment on any of these applications can call Harshita Deolia on tel: 020 7613 4445 or email: within three weeks of receipt of this issue.

Ordinary Applications A J Winski Jewellers (Garry and Jeanette Harvey) Dunfermline Montpellier Antiques Ltd (Giorgio, Phyllis and James Nimmo) Harrogate John Greed Retail Ltd (John and Laura Greed) Lincoln

Affiliate Applications GoldKnox Ltd (Paul and Claudia Marcus) Birmingham

Allied Applications SBS Insurance Services Ltd (Tracey Rees/Paul Fairbrass/Drazen Jaksic) Cannock, Staffordshire Jewellers Association of Australia Ltd (Ian Hadassin) Sydney, Australia

NAG AGM and Luncheon his year the NAG’s Annual General Meeting is to be held at the Goldsmiths’ Hall, Foster Lane, London on Wednesday 29th June. Guests will arrive at 10am for tea/coffee, followed by the AGM at 11am. After a pre-lunch drinks reception guests will enjoy a three course luncheon in the beautiful surroundings of the historic Hall. Guest speaker David Thomas MVO will be sharing his thrilling experiences as a crown jeweller. In addition we are also hoping to arrange a tour of the London Assay Offices after lunch. The date coincides with the Hall’s summer exhibition, ‘Mindful of Silver’, which focuses on work from a selection of top silversmiths and their processes of development through to the end product. Guests will be able to browse the exhibition during the day. For more information about the day or to book your place at the AGM and luncheon, contact Ritu Verma on tel: 020 7613 4445 or email her at:


The Scottish Gemmological Conference he annual Scottish Gemmology Conference will be held in Perth at the Queen’s Hotel from Friday 29th of April to Monday 2nd of May 2011. The NAG is once again a supporter of this event which bring together gemmologists from all over the UK. Full details of the Conference, including the venue, programme, speakers, workshops and the field trip can be found at:


The Voice of the Industry 13

| NAG News

Member of the Month In this issue’s Member of the Month, Harshita Deolia interviews Jayant Raniga of PureJewels. The business started in Nairobi, Kenya in 1950 and has come a long way to establish itself as a leading jewellery retailer based in London’s vibrant East End and just a stone’s throw from the Olympic site. Tell me the history of PureJewels and the importance of your family’s heritage The first thing that a customer would see as they enter our shop is my granddad sitting in the corner – he was born in India. Then there’s my dad, who was born in Kenya; then there’s me, born here. We can trace our roots as jewellers for over eight generations. That’s the reality – it’s a very family-oreintated shop and it’s all about relationships, banter and personalities. People like to hang around in the shop at the end of the day. But without losing that ‘family jeweller’ feel, PureJewels is a fast-emerging luxury brand that is run in a very corporate way, with good systems in place. We opened in the UK in 1975, and in 2010 we launched the annual Platinum Heritage Collection initiative to commemorate those 35 years. We invite six of the UK’s finest designers to create inspirational pieces of platinum jewellery based on our cultural heritage. They are the jewellery stars of today and tomorrow and we’re committed to being design-driven and to be recognised by the products. I often ask myself how we can afford this shift and even though it’s not easy we’re very sure that it’s the way to go – and we get a lot of good PR from it!

What do you sell in the shop? We have a lot of diversity in the store and we’re moving away from being a shop-inshop for brands and more towards being a brand in our own right. We are currently working on our new collections that are to be launched this year, as well as exquisite bridal jewellery in 22ct gold and platinum engagement and wedding rings. Tell us a bit more about your decision to work with more designers. We believe that design is everything and that British design is world class. So it was very natural for us to work directly with designers as they are the back-bone of our industry. I felt that the UK jewellery industry is too fragmented and when there was an opportunity for us to be involved with London Jewellery Week we felt that this was the perfect platform to celebrate jewellery and to bring solidarity within the industry. You’re a director of London Jewellery Week. Why did you want to get involved and how are plans going? I was invited to become a director of LJW at the end of January 2010 when Coutts Bank pulled out of their third year option of

sponsoring it. This was a real blow and very nearly meant that LJW did not happen. It would have been a shame for our industry if we did not have this platform that everyone had worked so hard to create. It was a lot of work but we reached our goals for the year and now have some great corporate support and partnerships that have emerged. It has also meant that there is an excuse for people to work together more. We’re very ambitious for LJW – we want everyone to celebrate the wearing of jewellery and for it to be higher in people’s minds, on their top 10 spend list. We’ve had very good uptake on corporate sponsorship and from the designers but retail uptake so far has been disappointing. How is PureJewels going to be taking part in the event? We will be launching the 2011 Platinum Heritage Collection and have already announced the designers for this year. We expect some great additions to the successful collection that was launched last year. We are also planning collections taking inspiration from last year’s PHC. Tell us about a memorable customer In 2003, when we started rebranding PureJewels we also launched our website – My grandmother cut the ribbon on the screen (she cuts the ribbons on any new launch!) and finally after three days we received our first order. It was from a lady in the North-West ordering a £15 pair of silver cufflinks. This would normally seem trivial but the pleasure of sending off that order was so great – it completely justified the energy and effort. Thinking of that transaction still warms me. If you would like your business to be considered as Member of the Month please email:

14 The Jeweller May 2011

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| NAG News: Education & Training

A double hit of Bransom award winners n this month’s Jeweller, we’re celebrating not one, but two JET 1 projects as winners of the coveted Bransom JET 1 Project Assignment Award. Held in conjunction with our friends at Bransom Retail Systems, each month the education department automatically enter all JET 1 assignments into a competition for ‘best project’. Selected by the external examiners, the award gives students the chance to be rewarded with a trip to the prestigious Goldsmiths’ Hall, for the presentation of their certificate at our annual student award ceremony. The first of our two winners takes us back to February to congratulate Emily Roy of The Money Shop, Barking. Emily’s project was reported as ‘the very best piece of JET 1 Project Assignment work this year’, by the external marker, and the paper she submitted clearly reflects a huge amount of talent. We briefly caught up with Emily at this year’s Presentation of Awards, where she received her accolade. “I was really excited to have been acknowledged,” she said. “I put a lot into the assignment, and it was great to receive that recognition. It’s especially pleasing when we get to come an event like tonight. I’d like to thank my tutor, and everyone at the The


Emily Roy with Chris Garland of Bransom Retail Systems

16 The Jeweller May 2011

Money Shop for their help. It just goes to show what excellent work we’re doing here.” Emily’s tutor was particularly complimentary about the work that she submitted: “Emily has produced a very extensive JET 1 project and has clearly ‘read around’ the subject to provide such in-depth answers. Even when using downloaded images they were well researched for their particular relevance to the question. I found this project to be both well-presented and easy to follow. Section C in particular can often prove difficult for students from the pawnbroking side of the trade, but this has not proved to be an area of weakness in Emily’s case.” We didn’t think comments could get any more flattering, until we received feedback from the project moderator, who thought Emily’s project was an absolute “pleasure for marking”. The moderator went on to say: “Emily produced a very detailed account of the classification of diamond grades, adding some excellent, well-presented illustrations to support her answers. It’s clear from reading over her work that Emily knows her subject extremely well indeed; and that she can use this knowledge in a practical way when giving advice to customers regarding the repair and restoration of their jewellery. Emily is a very worthy winner of the JET 1 Project Assignment Award.” The second student to be recognised is March’s winner – Julie Mack, of F. Hinds, in Burton-on-Trent. In the opinion of her tutor Michelle McCormick, Julie is another very worthy recipient of the award. “Her project was of a very high standard – she answered all the sections in great detail and demonstrated a good understanding,” she says. “All of her course work has been of a high standard (her assignment about gemstones was

exceptional!) and all her assignments have been submitted earlier than the timetable.” The project moderator felt that: “Julie dealt with the subject of diamond classification in a very clear, logical manner; firstly by explaining the various grades and then relating this to a sales situation. Detailed coverage was given to the cut of the diamond supported by a large number of diagrams. The problem that can occur when a diamond is not cut to the best proportions was fully explained and illustrated. Transferring this diamond knowledge to the customer is an Julie Mack

essential element of this piece of JET 1 assignment work and Julie’s quality coverage of this area is highly commendable.” “I was really pleased but also stunned and shocked to learn that I’d won,” says Julie, who clearly takes a pride in her work. “I’ve really enjoyed the course and I think that’s reflected in my work. If you can enjoy it, it’s really easy to get very involved. I love my job and the people I work with. It’s a really supportive atmosphere, and I know everyone backs each other 100 per cent. So that has made it a lot easier. I would also like to thank my tutor, who has been at hand whenever I needed her.” Once again, we’d like to congratulate our winners on their extremely hard work, and hope they continue their great successes. Students who successfully complete all five assignments of JET 1 to a satisfactory standard will be awarded a JET 1 certificate and are then entitled to continue on to JET 2 and the completion of the Professional Jewellers’ Diploma. For more information on the JET courses visit: or call 020 7613 4445 (option 1). For information on Bransom visit:

NAG News: IRV Review |

NAG Institute of Registered Valuers R






Insurance companies call for IRV valuations ver recent months the NAG has received reports of an inordinate rise in the number of expensive items coming into our member stores. Specialist jewellery, antique items, and metals with a high market value, are, in the current climate, seen as a quick way of releasing cash that has been built up in items over the years. Whether the piece owned is for sale or safekeeping every precious item should be properly valued, and registered with an insurance company. Most people who own such items are well aware that their value will determine how much an insurance company will offer. This influx of high-priced items may cause an issue for many jewellers and insurance companies, but with it comes a piece of good news for the industry as a whole. Since January and the onset of the ‘year of austerity’, insurance companies, like most other businesses, are ensuring that they minimise overheads. For many of them, this means ensuring that the value they put on an item needs to be as close to its true


resale value. Arguably one of the most difficult tasks a jeweller faces is the valuation of items; at the NAG we celebrate valuers – who’ve taken significant steps to become undeniable experts in their field – by awarding them a recognised qualification within the Institute of Registered Valuers. And reports have it that over the previous months insurers have also recognised this work. For one insurance company, ‘the safest option, that gives the best value to both us and the client, is a valuation by an IRV member. As part of the NAG, it gives us real confidence that the valuations will be made with the greatest of knowledge and expertise, whilst also remaining a fair representation of the price an item should be insured for.’ NAG chairman Nicholas Major, has worked closely with the IRV for a number of years, and has been heading up the latest push with insurance companies. “During my considerable involvement with reforming our RVs into the Institute of Registered Valuers, my biggest concern was to make

certain we did not make any mistakes,” he comments. “For over a year we have been successfully working with one of the country’s leading insurers and we can now promote ourselves with the utmost confidence as being the only regulated body of jewellery valuers in the UK, whose qualified members provide professional, consistent valuations. I am at present in contact with several insurance companies and I’m delighted to say they appear to be most interested as they can see how all parties benefit.” For the NAG, it proves how our education and training programmes are casting a wide net over the retail jewellery industry, with the IRV’s work impacting not only members, but also insurance companies and customers.

The IRV stamp has become a seal of approval for many insurers, who want to be certain that their valuations are made with the best knowledge available. The IRV stamp has become a seal of approval for many insurers, who want to be certain that their valuations are made in the best faith, and with the best knowledge available. A point CEO Michael Hoare was quick to assert: “The IRV is a real and effective means for valuers to work together, and share the latest information. Not only does it promote itself as an educational tool, the IRV stands as a stamp of the finest workmanship and ethical standards within the industry. We’re glad to see that all components of the industry are reacting to the brilliance shown by IRV Valuers.”

The Voice of the Industry 17

BJA News |

So, what jewellery do you wear? s a divorcee, who am I to question Prince William’s decision not to don a wedding ring? However it did get me thinking – not only about men and jewellery but about the whole business of celebrity endorsement and whether what adorns the royal finger, or in this case does not, is really (with hallmarking figures down 20.3 per cent in March) the solution to selling more gold bands. Perhaps – like charity – marketing, begins at home. If you’re a chap reading this, I’d like to ask you a question, or two. Do you wear a wedding ring? A signet ring? A bracelet? A pair of good cufflinks? A tiepin or brooch? Perhaps a discrete diamond earring? If you’re a woman who works in our industry, how about you? What jewellery do you wear? Is it the very best your business has to offer, or is it a mishmash of mum’s hand-me-downs and a chain-store bangle? When you meet jewellers on mass, at trade shows, or other industry events, are


you knocked out by their rocks? I suspect probably not. You might argue that there’s a time and place for wearing jewellery; but what sort of message Mike Hughes, chairman of the BJA does that send to the end consumer? It seems to me, that rather than waiting for Wills, David, Victoria or Elton to do it for us, that we should all be strutting our own stuff and grasping every opportunity to market it as widely as possible. At the BJA we offer all sorts of free opportunities to our members to promote their products: inclusion of designs in member features in this magazine; a productsourcing service on the Association’s website, with links to their own website and enhanced search-engine ratings. Thanks to their membership they also receive discounted rates at the UK’s major trade

events and the opportunity to take advantage of the fantastic online facilities offered by both EMAP and Reed Exhibitions to exhibitors to further promote their businesses. We can also now offer discounts on website creation and design. But do members take advantage of these services? Some do… most do not and these are real opportunities wasted. As an industry we cannot wait for the DTC, Platinum Guild International and other global bodies, or indeed celebrities to do our marketing for us, it has to start with us. So when you join The BJA for its AGM during London Jewellery week, as I hope very many of you will, let’s see what your jewellery box is made of. You never know, between us, we might even set the trend.

BJA AGM to coincide with London Jewellery Week he British Jewellers’ Association’s annual general meeting date for this year has been set to coincide with London Jewellery Week. The meeting will take place at 5pm on 9th June, 2011 at Victoria House in London’s Bloomsbury Square where the ‘Jewellery Show Salon’ at Treasure, sponsored by The Jewellery Show, is being staged. As well as the formal business of the AGM, the event will also feature guest speaker Peter Taylor of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths who will talk about the Company’s new facility for the jewellery industry in Clerkenwell. Addressing delegates will be James Newman, who will speak about his journey from designer maker to design-led retailer. Those who attend will also be invited to attend a VIP reception for Treasure which takes place after this event. Drinks and nibbles will be served. “The profile of London Jewellery Week is building year-on-year and this year also sees the introduction of a trade day. We hope that members of the Association from


around the country will take the opportunity to come to Salon and Treasure as well as to the AGM and while in London will also call in at some of the extremely diverse and interesting events taking place,” says the BJA’s marketing manager, Lindsey Straughton.

A full a list of events can be seen at Full details of the AGM will be sent to BJA members. Non-members who wish to attend – and all are welcome – should call 0121 237 1110 or email:

Images by Sean Collymore at Location House (

The Voice of the Industry 19

| BJA News

New team and new features for IJL nternational Jewellery London 2011 has announced a number of changes to this year’s show which will take place at Earl’s Court from 4th-7th September. The show has a new management team with Sam Willoughby and Syreeta Tranfield being appointed joint event directors. Willoughby was acting director of the show during 2010, while Tranfield (who became its event manager in Syreeta Tranfield Sam Willoughby 2009) was on maternity leave. The first change the team will oversee will be the launch of a new dedicated watch area at the show – although it is anticipated that those exhibitors who already showcase watches as part of their collections elsewhere in the exhibition will continue to do so. “From conversations with our show visitors and influential industry contacts, such as the BJA, we have noted the demand for a dedicated watch area. We have featured watch exhibitors in the past within our other show destinations and believe a clearly defined zone for this sector will further enhance IJL’s offering for our visitors,” says Willoughby. In addition to the watch zone, the event directors recently announced that a new Designer Brands area will also be launched in September. This will be found within the Design Gallery where some of the UK’s most established and iconic designers will be unveiling new collections, including BJA members such as Rachel Galley, Sarah Jordan and Deakin & Francis, who are making a return to the show this year. As well as new features, seminar speakers and zones, some of the classic IJL favourites will also be returning including the KickStarters. This initiative, which is produced in association with the BJA, and was launched as a bursary scheme for talented fledgling designers, has attracted much favourable feedback. As has ‘Bright Young Gems’, which will once again be selected by a panel of top fashion and jewellery editors from The Daily Telegraph, Wallpaper magazine, Glamour magazine and the FT’s ‘How To Spend It’. These brightest new designers will be unveiled at the show. As part of IJL’s commitment to enhancing the UK jewellery industry, the show is running a prize draw each month in the run up to the event, giving retailers and designers the chance to win the design of a new e-commerce website created by the internet marketing agency Adaptive. “All companies should be thinking about having a presence online and if you want some top tips on ecommerce, social media or marketing your brand online, come to IJL as we are genuinely committed to making sure our visitors and exhibitors develop their businesses as much as possible,” says Willoughby. Currently 448 exhibitors have confirmed their attendance at IJL including 215 members of the BJA, all of whom receive a discount on stand space and appear for free on the show’s much-visited website. Register for IJL today at:


20 The Jeweller May 2011

Success for BJA Designer Group at CMJ

he group of ten designer makers drawn together by the BJA to show at the CMJ meeting held at the Metropole Hotel at the NEC in Birmingham in March, certainly made its mark with considerable interest being shown in the participating businesses by the retailers who attended. This was the second CMJ meeting for which the BJA had drawn together a group of designers and seven of those who had shown previously returned. New to this event were Rachel Galley, Anna Verdun and Claire English. “This is a great idea. It was very relaxed and down-to-earth. The feedback I got was fantastic and I’ve got lots of follow-up meetings as a result. I hope very much to go back to the next meeting in August,” commented Rachel Galley.


Necklace by Rachel Galley

Selling Jewellery to China ou might think that selling jewellery to China is a bit like selling coals to Newcastle – but you’d be wrong. A seminar being staged on 16th May, 2011 by the BJA in conjunction with its export wing British Jewellery & Giftware International will explore the very real opportunities for British companies wanting to sell jewellery into one of the fastest growing markets in the world. The seminar topics to be covered will include: an overview of the market; the dos and don’ts of doing business in China and a case study by the Birmingham-based designer Fei Liu, who is Chinese. Those wishing to attend should contact Rebecca Gough on 0121 237 1119 or email:


| BJA Feature

Simon says! BJA CEO Simon Rainer considers the aims and issues involved in updating the BJA’s website. magine you are given a blank sheet of paper and someone says to you… “design your own website from scratch”. Well this was the BJA team late last year, as it had become increasingly obvious that the current BJA website was in serious need of a total redesign. Not only was its functionality a major issue, the design was outdated and it lacked the single most important attribute of any website in allowing effective two-way communication. So, where to start? As we soon realised, a successful website is not all about design and we were determined to ensure the new site would be of absolute relevance to the membership. We were very fortunate in having recently conducted an extensive member survey which provided valuable feedback on the needs of the BJA membership and also


focal point as we now looked to divide the new website by member sector type. This will allow very specific and relevant information to be placed on the new site and in easy-to-search-for categories. If, for example, you are a stone dealer, you will be able to log into the BJA members’ area and go to your section of the site – information you find here will be very different to that which you will find in the jewellery distributor section or the designer maker section. From this simple premise, we were then able to devise a site map that at first listed all the member requirements and from this point then arranged a logical sequence of pages and links. And we now have new technology to play with allowing us to incorporate video links, search facilities, social media platforms and near endless capacity to include pictures and documents.

As we soon realised, a successful website is not all about design and we were determined to ensure the new site would be of absolute relevance to the membership. allowed us to carefully segment responses by industry category. Consequently, we were able to identify seven key industry classifications which adequately described the business activity of our members. And, most importantly, it allowed the survey results to be specific to these classifications. Even though concerns in the industry were fairly consistent throughout the sectors, there were distinct differences in the type and level of services and information required from the BJA by sector. This has now led to a fundamental review of the services offered to the membership and it is intended to grow the use of existing and new services through the website. Working on the premise that we need to provide what the members want from the BJA, this provided our

22 The Jeweller May 2011

Our own research showed that one of the key requirements for a successful website is the availability of current news and information. In this respect we are including on the home page an RSS feed providing daily industry news in addition to current metal and stone prices.

Of equal importance was to provide a medium for members to communicate with each other and the new site will feature a members’ forum where opinions and information can be shared. From experience, deciding what you want from a website is the easy part. The hardest exercise is finding a company that will put it all together for you. Part of our challenge was to ensure that our CRM programme could be fully integrated into the new website and in my own words make sure that ‘all the right wires were connected’. All BJA member details are kept on an extensive database which in part lists the business activity and the products/services provided. A major part of the current website is the ability of members to search the details of other members. Such complex integration requirements were initially hard to satisfy and it was several months until we found the right company to fulfil all of our web needs. With an intended launch date of June 2011, the new BJA website will be a vital communication and information tool to our membership. We are now at the stage of reviewing every current page and deciding on its relevance and content for placement onto the new site – only another 400 web pages to go! And then we start adding new pages! Even at the latter stages of development we are looking to include a new feature for designer makers allowing their work to be promoted on site. It is our hope that the new website will be an important information tool for the membership. The design and functionality has put the needs of the BJA membership first and its success and use will be determined by the feedback we receive.

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| Opinion: John Henn

Basel – where is it all going? John Henn reports on (yet another) eventful trip to the annual Swiss extravaganza and ponders on conspicuous consumption. very year we set off for the BaselWorld Watch and Jewellery extravaganza and every year another unplanned incident trips us up. Five years ago we lost our hold luggage (one case between us); four years ago we only took hand luggage and my wife’s laptop was stolen; three years ago the plane never left Liverpool to bring us home due to snow resulting in an 11 hour train ride back to Wolverhampton – three people, £1,100 all in, and Easyjet even covered the cost of our dinner! Last year my wife was running a temperature just under boiling point and this year I was toppled by a pizza, which made me sick on the sort of scale that should only befall those adolescents who experiment with everything at the same time. Apart from my problems, the current economic climate didn’t seem to dampen the decadent display of the jet set must-have accessories that we all deal in (which we like to think the average person cannot live without). There is no doubt that what we do is non-essential and previously regarded by the Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) as exploitation of the less developed world by the developed one. Martin Rapaport once said something along the lines of “God gave the third world the beautiful minerals and gave the first world the desire to own them”. The sea of names that have become the surrogate personality of the younger


24 The Jeweller May 2011

generation may, I feel, be pushing their consumers just a touch too far. Given that the US is the first on the treadmill of fads and the emerging monster economies of the East are at the start, it is no surprise that in Moscow, Beijing, and Delhi it is about how much your goods cost and that as many of your peers as possible know about it. In the US however, it is becoming more fashionable to minimise the brand identity in order to get the much better feeling of good citizenship that comes from owning goods made in an honourable way. While typing this article an ad for Christian Aid – just such an NGO – has appeared in the Chill Radio browser. Next year it may be Radio 1. But it seems that not everybody wants to pay the price. Spectacularly during the stand building in the Loose Stone hall, a skilled renegade contractor fitted seven or eight false partitions into display cases. One company, while being distracted by members of the A watch of the same make as the one stolen

gang, lost four diamonds worth around $10,000,000. It was 15 minutes before the theft was detected and even though the organisers closed the hall, the very professional perpetrators escaped. It was only then that the other tampered show cases were discovered. That particular loss eclipses ours from last weekend – we had a £6,500 watch lifted from our display within the confines of a ticket-only Black Tie dinner held at a four star hotel in the Northamptonshire countryside. Everyone there, except us, owned a very beautiful red car and luckily some clients made some purchases; if ever there was a clientele that would not make the hardened among us suspicious, it was this lot. Ten years of exhibiting and never a squeak of suspicion. There is a French saying, L’habit ne fait pas le moine – it doesn’t really translate but basically means, don’t let the clothes of the Monk suggest the wearer is one. My darling wife was up for strip-searching all 180 guests, which would have been a story in itself! I have been round the block once too many times and should not have let the opportunity arise in the first place. On a different note, in the middle of May I, along with my friend Robert, (who is now 50 – I’ll be there in July), will have another go at reaching the summit of Mont Blanc. We owe it to you all who sponsored us last and this year to have another go. After our previous failed attempt we are taking a different route, with food that won’t freeze. We hope to do some of the steeper rope/ crampon climbing at a lower altitude where a couple of old geezers can still breathe, and leave the long haul to the summit on day three, mostly on the skis. As we drove back to take our plane from Geneva after the weekend in Basel and as the stomach cramp topping of the pizza was just kicking in, the summit of the mountain was bathed in the dawn sunshine, my legs were like lead, and it looked a million miles away. I will be trying very hard to make it this time and in particular with the memory of Robert Croydon, whose life had more than its fair share of tragedy. While he was President of the NAG I was able to get to know him – a true survivor in our industry. My deepest condolences go to his family and those that gave him happiness in these last years.



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| Ethical Jeweller

The Treasures of the Sea Having committed many years to the issue of ethically-sourced gold, Greg Valerio is now turning his attention to pearls, another sector of the jewellery market that is under threat. ne of the biggest regrets I have as a jeweller, is that over the years of campaigning for the introduction of Fairtrade Gold into the jewellery supply chain, has been the fact I have had to neglect my love of the process of creating jewellery. As much as I have loved working with miners and learning about their lives and understanding their unique challenges, there is a need to link this process to a finished product. This is best achieved through inspired design of desirable and adorable product and is equally important as all the groundwork we have done to secure a better livelihood for the miner. What links this mine to market experience is of course the ‘narrative’. I remember when I first started Cred Jewellery, Anita Roddick was very encouraging saying “Greg, whatever you do, never stop telling the story”. This was the best piece of business advice I ever had. Fairtrade Gold is now quite rightly ‘the best gold story in the world’, but it has only just begun. For gold we need to work hard in the coming years to increase supply to meet the demand. Personally my prayer is that there will always be a supply problem, as this will consistently drive the change on the ground. Yet equally we need to turn our attention to the other products we use in jewellery and to look to rediscover the authentic narrative.


The Kamoka Farm is powered by the sun and wind

26 The Jeweller May 2011

Meeting Josh Humbert, a pearl farmer from Tahiti, at the Tucson Gem Show in 2010 was a key moment for me. We were at a symposium on ethical jewellery practices and Josh was given the floor to speak about his work as a pearl farmer. He spoke as an impassioned environmentalist and as someone deeply concerned about the traditional Tahitian black pearl industry. You could see he loved his livelihood; his appreciation of the sea, the aquatic eco-system and the sustainability of what he was doing had given him not only a good income but, as you can imagine, a quality of life that many of us would cut off our right arms for.

Black Pearls from Kamoka

However that quality of his life and that all those who worked there, was now under serious threat from rising sea levels, driven by climate change (climate change denial is driven by delusional ostriches – maybe we all need to begin to deny their existence and clearly based on their myopic logic the ostriches will all disappear) and cheap fresh water pearls from China that have flooded the global jewellery market over the past 15 years. It was a story not unlike many others I had heard of where traditional economies and ways of life are being swept away on the tide of mass production and product at the cheapest price possible.

Fish cleaning the oysters – as nature intended

What distressed me most about Josh’s story was it was an invisible story. Because of the intentional severance of the mine to market story in our trade, almost all jewellers had not heard of this problem. In fact quite the reverse has happened – the industry has rejoiced in the cheap pearls being pumped out of chemical-based farms irrespective of the serious social and environmental consequences these practices create. Since my encounter with Josh I have spent time (not enough to be honest) looking into the background of pearls. These natural organic sustainable items are exquisite. The Tahitian pearls have captivated my attention in a way I have not experienced since CRED Jewellery produced its first Oro Verde eco-wedding rings back in 2003/4. Their lustre, their colour hues, their individuality lends itself to the creative process beautifully. And in the case of Josh’s pearls, the positive approach he and his colleagues have taken towards their farming methods has shown that jewellery is not about managing risk as the CSR managers would have us believe. It is about creating a positive legacy through its very creation. On my desk I have 26 Tahitian pearls – wonderful rounds and semi-baroques which speak to me of possibility. The possibility of changing livelihoods, of transforming ecosystems and improving them, the possibility of new sustainable jewellery ranges and the personal possibility of indulging myself in the creative process again. I am just beginning to discover pearls, their hidden truths and their potential to transform. After all the gates of heaven are made from pearls, the most sumptuous treasures of the sea. For more information on Kamoka Pearls visit and to learn more about pearls and the environment visit: Greg Valerio, Jeweller & Activist

| Feature From simple, classic strands to wildly opulent and contemporary creations, Belinda Morris celebrates the allure of pearls. Obsession

Pearl Variations nyone wishing to revel in some stylish nostalgia, should treat themselves to the box-set of TV’s Mad Men. It’s died-and-goneto-heaven stuff for the retro fashionista; a visual feast for vintage jewellery afficiandos and a particularly indulgent wallow for the pearl fan. Set between the late ’50s and early/ mid ’60s, this meticulously-researched US show (no detail left unscrutinised) places single, double and multiple strands of pearls around every other female neck – from the prim secretaries to the femme fatales. It’s a reminder – should one be needed – of the abiding allure of pearls and what I find particularly interesting is that it has turned around the attitude that a simple strand or two spells ‘Miss Marple’ and twin-sets. Ok, it does… but that’s a positive not a negative view. A younger generation (anyone under 30, say) regards retro as cool and those in their ‘middle-youth’ (35-55 perhaps) aspire to the chic, pulled-together glamour of Mad Men femininity – regardless of the attendant male chauvinism! It’s not a look for everyone though and the joy of pearls (other than their lustre and luminescence) is the versatility they offer designers, a new generation of whom are


28 The Jeweller May 2011

happy to break a few rules in order to create pearl pieces that are as exciting as they are beautiful. At the same time, established pearl jewellery suppliers are creating fashion-led collections to sit alongside their more traditional lines. So it would be inaccurate to say that pearls have ‘moved on’ from their classic guise – or are ever likely to. But they have taken on a new life in recent years, and that is driven Euro Pearls

Coleman Douglas Pearls

by a number of factors: new pearl varieties, shapes and colours appearing on the market; designer-led enthusiasm; price… “The advent of river pearl, which cost less, can be larger and are in all sorts of natural as well as enhanced colours and a variety of shapes, has expanded the market,” explains Jonathan Raw of Raw Pearls. “And the lower cost – hundreds rather than thousands of pounds for a 10” row for instance, allows them to be fashion items.” Yana Nesper, designer of the eponymous German pearl jewellery brand agrees that cost is a factor when it comes to design. “There is a connection between the price and the kind of style people buy; in the medium to higher price range they prefer classic pearls, that they can still wear after five or ten years (we say ‘zeitlos’). But if they’re paying up to €200 they want more extraordinary fashion styles as well as a combination of some unusual materials,” she adds. As with any jewellery, it’s a question of personal taste as well as perception. “There is still a decidedly strong demand for what we call the ‘twinset and pearl’ look,” says Chrissie Douglas of Coleman Douglas Pearls. “However, it has come a long way

Feature |

Material gains and setting precedents

Nexus Pearls

from ‘granny’s pearls’ as the demand is for ‘classic with a twist’ from a very young audience who are influenced by the recent trend for ’50s vintage looks… as well as the vivid colours of the autumn/winter 2011 runway – Vogue described the looks as ‘Princess Margaret on acid’!” At Mikimoto the mantra is “simple, universal elegance that will suit anybody”, according to creative director Yoshio Sato. “In terms of an overall trend… rather than formal, symmetrical and chunky pieces, it is asymmetrical, shimmering, luxurious with light designs – strings of pearls worn casually long – that are becoming mainstream,” he says. Douglas is seeing the same laid-back elegance. “Our clients are moving towards a less structured look – think ’60s ‘lady-like’ glamour, which uses very fluid lines; long, draping, casual looks. The beauty of pearls is that they can morph with their owner’s looks by being worn differently or by simple re-stringing,” she says. Stepping a little further back in time is the new Twenties Collection, designed by Drew Perridge for Jersey Pearl. Echoing the stylistic forms of the

time, the line featuring sterling silver and gold vermeil with freshwater pearls, celebrates the era when pearls first ‘came to the people’. The other beauty of pearls is that they offer wearers a choice. “We are designing ‘flexible jewellery’ which can be worn everyday,” says Raw. “But with a centre pendant attached, a strand can become an evening piece.” Raw Pearls also makes 72” long strands that can be worn wrapped twice or three times around, with coloured pearls placed at intervals so that they create a statement pattern in the piece. Twist the strand further and it becomes a choker. While classically simple strands continue to sell well (and many retailers in the more traditional markets sell nothing else) the move towards more fashion-led styles is gaining some ground alongside it. “It’s certainly a change we’re watching and reacting to,” says Nick Davies of Nexus Pearls. “Mixing high-end pearls – previously unaffordable to many – with interesting jewellery designs and materials enables us to produce a cost-effective range of stylish, quality jewellery with a broad appeal.”

“There is a connection between the price and the kind of style people buy. In the medium to higher price range they prefer classic pearls that they can still wear after five or ten years…”

Jersey Pearl

The introduction of different materials – whether gemstones, less commonly-used metals or elements like leather and ribbon – is also adding a new, modern dimension. Euro Pearls for instance has launched Perlissimo – a more fashion-led collection.

By Elise

“We’ve moved in this direction because of the increasing importance of the silver market in the UK,” explains UK and Ireland sales manager Justin Simons. “Pearls are far more fashionable now and younger women are discovering their versatility. We’re also creating innovative designs by breaking the rules – such as mixing different types of cultured pearls together.” The cost of gold is inevitably having an impact. “While our main ranges are in nine and 18 carat gold, reacting to the high gold price we have also started to use silver in jewellery ranges,” says Davies. “And last year we introduced the first range of palladium pearl clasps into the UK – which were very popular due to their durability and relative low price. We’re also developing ranges of jewellery using silver and coloured leathers with Tahitian pearls to create a new look.” Using the wide range of coloured (dyed) cultured pearls available now also broadens the scope and appeal of jewellery hugely. “I have always been determined to offer not only classic designs, but also the more fashion-led pieces that take on the season’s colours,” says Henrietta Askew of Mai Pearls,

The Voice of the Industry 29


Feature | who also adds gemstones such as rose quartz, amethyst, topaz, jade and agate. At Coleman Douglas Pearls they’re seeing a strong demand for the colour blue – so ‘blue jean’ or green Tahitian pearls fit the bill nicely. Different shapes also create fashionable points of difference – “organic and natural to the eye” being a favourite of Douglas. “Nearly all my designs utilise baroque pearls of varying shapes and colours for greater versatility,” adds Elise Compson of By Elise. “The more baroque the better and new shapes like Keshi pearls allow one to create some serious statement jewellery.” If it’s truly bold, stand-out and different that’s wanted, there are a growing number of international names taking pearl jewellery to a new level. Award-winning Australiabased Autore offers some of the most extravagantly opulent pieces combining South Sea pearls, diamonds and coloured stones – Venice, in all it’s Baroque glory being the inspiration of the latest line.

Yana Nesper

Closer to home, Swiss design duo Alexandra and Matthias Frei created Obsession – driven by their passion for three dimensional, sculptural, wearable art incorporating pearls with gold and diamonds. “Jewellery design in Europe has become more creative and playful,” explains Alexandra,

Pearl categories, rules, terms and definitions CIBJO’s definitive Pearl Book (part of its Blue Book series) offers a comprehensive guide to pearls for anyone buying or selling (available to download from its website: Here is a much edited selection from its pages: • The three categories of pearls are: natural (or, simply, pearls); cultured and imitation. Jewellery comprising or including cultured or imitation pearls should always be labelled and described as such. • Cultured pearls that have been modified or treated (other than drilled, polished, buffed, peeled and/or cleaned) should always be described as such, i.e. black (irradiated) cultured pearl; purple (dyed) cultured pearl. • The measurements of single natural and/or cultured pearls are expressed to the nearest 0.25 of a millimetre for sizes below 10mm and nearest 0.10 for 10mm and above. • Akoya – the Japanese name for the Pinctada Fucata pearl oyster used extensively for pearl culture in Japan, China and other pearl areas, producing the Akoya Cultured Pearl • Baroque – an irregularly shaped natural or cultured pearl • Biwa Cultured Pearl – a freshwater cultured pearl produced from grafting, in Lake Biwa, Japan from a freshwater bi-valve mollusc • Collar – a strand of natural, cultured or imitation pearls 10-13” in length • Cultured Pearls – a pearl grown through human intervention in specially controlled conditions • Freshwater Cultured Pearl – cultured pearls produced in molluscs in rivers, lakes, ponds and marshes • Keshi Cultured Pearl - a trade term for a non-beaded cultured pearl formed accidentally or intentionally by man in marine pearl oysters such as the Akoya • Lustre – the quality and quantity of light a pearl reflects from its surface • Opera – a strand of natural, cultured or imitation pearls 29-35” in length • Princess – a strand of natural, cultured or imitation pearls 17-19” in length • Rope – a strand of natural, cultured or imitation pearls about 45” in length • Seed Pearl – a small salt or freshwater natural pearl (usually under 2mm in diameter)

“and the pearl fits well in these fanciful creations. In our ‘high rings’ we place the pearl in the centre, surrounded by diamonds – like stars around the moon.” While classic strands are as popular as ever with Berlin-based Ploch Pearl’s customers, trend elements are also important – along with a thoughtful, multi-functional twist. For instance, a ‘varioclasp’ on a collar can be detached to form a pendant or even an earring. Meanwhile, to reach a younger customer, Ploch has combined a single pearl with large links of coloured silk – in a choice of colours – as well as introducing silver, steel, leather and even plastic. Autore

The Voice of the Industry 31


| Feature Reversing the traditional manufacturing method of finishing a product by adding the pearl, Euro Pearls’ premium brand Yoko includes a ring created by taking a unique pearl and hand-making the ring around it. “By their nature, pearls have limited setting techniques available to them,” says Davies, “but we have produced pendants and earrings using Biwa pearls in which the setting is formed around the pearl and then micro-set with diamonds directly into the pearl.”

Coleman Douglas Pearls

The latter technique is a Yana Nesper USP. Each of its pearl pieces includes a small blue sapphire set into one pearl – a subtle but distinctive touch. Davies also tells of a Vietnamese producer who uses a gemstone bead to form the nucleus of the cultured pearl, then carves the pearl away to reveal the stone beneath – rather like a cameo. Nexus’ new range, which features an undrilled pearl sitting inside a hinged ‘cage’, is a further example of new ideas offering the wearer extra versatility.

On one level there are environmental concerns – pearl farming is under threat from climate change – and many pearl jewellery manufacturers are going to great lengths to do the right thing. Jersey Pearl, for instance, through working with the Carbon Neutral Company, offsets the carbon footprint of its pearls by investing in green energy projects in the areas where their suppliers’ farms are sited. “Additional benefits of this project include employment and economic development to the province,” explains Mike Taylor, wholesale director. Conscious of the ‘current climate changefocussed world’, keeping its carbon footprint as small as possible is a priority too for Nexus Pearls. “We group supplies of products coming into us from abroad into as few shipments as possible, to reduce our impact on the environment,” says Davies. “We also do our very best to educate retailers about the ethical issues surrounding pearls.”


“We are striving towards a ‘zero emission’ model for our pearl beds and have made advances in reducing waste during periods of culture, which will reduce their impact on the marine environment” says Yoshio Sato of Mikimoto. “Going forward, we will be working hard to highlight this model and get it adopted by the pearl culturing industry worldwide. If this were to happen, I think the industry will become one where sustainable growth is in harmony with nature.”

Pearl farming is under threat from climate change – and many pearl jewellery manufacturers are going to great lengths to do the right thing… Ploch Pearls

Emission control – and other ethical issues It depends who you talk to, but it is probably the case that many pearl wearers – and retailers – give little thought to possible ethical issues surrounding pearls. But, while these issues may not be on the same dramatic scale as those associated with diamonds and gold for instance, pearl farming as an industry, is not without its concerns (as Greg Valerio points out in his Ethical Jeweller piece in this issue – p26).

32 The Jeweller May 2011

Care of pearls • Wear as often as possible • Wipe with a slightly damp, clean cloth after use to remove traces of perfume or perspiration • Store pearls in silk or chamois, away from diamonds or metals • Give pearls an annual check-up, looking for discolouration, stretched threads etc • Never spray perfume, hairspray or fake tan while wearing pearls • Don’t store pearls by hanging as it will stretch and damage the silk

Feature |

As would be expected, reputable pearl jewellery makers point out that keeping in regular and close contact with their suppliers is essential. “I source my pearls from well-known and truly trusted sources with whom I have worked for decades,” explains Douglas, speaking for many. “Pearls can only grow in clean waters, hence pollution is carefully monitored and actively opposed by all pearl farmers; their livelihood depends on it.” She also points out that since the growing of pearls in farms requires a great Mikimoto

deal of skill and experience, it is not open to the exploitation of child labour. Perhaps mindful of the accusations that are levelled at some in the wider fashion industry, many spend time visiting farms and factories. “This is a very important issue for me,” says Askew. “All of the pearls I use are Chinese freshwater pearls and I have two small groups of women who make the jewellery for me in China. They are paid a fair wage and their working conditions appear to be comfortable and clean – I visit

“The price of good quality pearls has been going up since last year… and this development is good,” them once a year to put together new designs. Mai Pearls also donates 10 per cent of profits to a charity that distributes to causes in China, such as education.” Avoiding the flood of cheap pearls that the market has seen over the past few years

Mai Pearls

is another way that top end manufacturers tackle ethical/environmental issues. “The price of good quality pearls has been going up since last year… and this development is good,” says Nesper. “The price drop over the last 10 years and overflow into the market of cheap Chinese goods was not good for the image of pearls.” And image, in this I business, is everything of course.

The Voice of the Industry 33

| BJA Feature

Adding the personal touch to the big day A growing number of BJA members are incorporating unusual wedding jewellery into their collections or are offering a bespoke service that retailers could tap into.


Sally Lees (London)

Cufflinks make the perfect gift for the bride to give to the groom and can be ordered to match the colour scheme of any wedding for the best man and retinue. These cufflinks are aluminium hand printed with floral designs and coupled with silver. RRP £90 - £120 Tel: 0778 8703601

34 The Jeweller May 2011

Simplicity ET

Distinguished by imprinted script, each piece of the silver Memento collection is intricately engraved with the touching sentiment of ‘always close to my heart’ which is both raised from and embossed into the surface. The tactile pendants in shapes of discs, pebbles and ovals have a textured satin finish that contrasts with a highly polished reverse, which hang from knife-edge chains. RRPs from £175 Tel: 020 7819 9031

One way to keep customers coming back is to offer them add-ons. This wedding band range consists of a number of centre bands, either plain or stone set, which have edges that detach using screw thread technology, thus enabling different stone set or plain sides, of various widths, to be added. All are available in 18ct red, white and yellow with diamonds and a few select gemstones. RRP for the ring shown: £2,500 Tel: 0776633 8486

Phillips and Thorley


Dower and Hall


Updating, restoring or remodelling inherited jewellery, W&W’s ‘Something Old, Something New’ service transforms vintage pieces into unique, modern interpretations that bind heritage to a wedding day. For instance, a Victorian gold, natural pearl and diamond brooch was fully restored and adapted to create this luxurious hairpiece. Tel: 020 7801 6251



Aria pod tiara is a bespoke piece created to match jewellery from Campbell’s Aria range. Satin finished on a textured silver band, 18ct gold is roll textured to create the pod and petals, which are joined together with silver wires that have 3pt diamonds set into the fused balls on the ends. RRP £3,720 Tel: 0121 551 7342

Telling a story through style is what Tink is all about, therefore the personal touch, through a bespoke service, is very important to Nike Ademuyiwa. Ranges include cufflinks to wedding rings, earrings, bracelet, tags and pendants. These long sterling silver earrings have an RRP of £170 Tel: 07946 296014


Glenn Campbell

W&W Private Jewellers



This bespoke fit-in wedding and engagement ring set uses marquis and brilliant cut diamonds in bands of platinum with the subtle addition of stripes of 18ct white gold. When new and polished the difference is almost impossible to see but as the rings are worn during married life the stripes become increasingly obvious. RRP £3,650 Tel: 07984 420188

Create your own bespoke design experience with Gemvision technology We have examined the tools and concepts that work best for jewellers and have produced the most efficient, flexible and creative software tools ever developed for the jewellery industry. CounterSketch Studio and Matrix 3D Design Software are both award winning systems that can be used in all jewellery sectors. CounterSketch delivers finished pieces from a customizable virtual range in 14 days or less. Matrix is the industry’s leading CAD software creating incredible visuals from your original designs.

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The Voice of the Industry 35

| Security

Minimum Standards

security every business will be better able to cope when the unexpected happens. The document therefore puts particular emphasis on identifying the most appropriate security standards to protect premises from robbery. In so doing it inevitably examines a number of areas including risk assessment, physical security systems and process security. It is important to stress, however, that there is no panacea to crime and that good security is dependent on introducing not just the right equipment installed by reputable companies, but also the right systems and training for staff; and regular maintenance schedules for optimum performance. Copies of the Jewellers Personal Safety and Security Guide for Robbery are available from the NAG upon request.

SaferGems Roundup Michael Hoare reports on the ongoing fight against crime that targets the jewellery industry. etailing has always been a risky business and, if industry crime surveys are to be believed, the number of thefts from shops rises year on year, with an incident occurring nearly every minute of every day while violence and abuse against shop staff increases steadily. By its very nature jewellery retailing carries higher risks than many other sectors. But short of putting a policeman in every shop doorway, what can be done to stem the rising tide? The reasons for the upsurge in crime are too complex to analyse here, and one could have a long philosophical debate about how much consumerism fuels greed, how much temptation retailers put in the way of offenders, and how much protection taxpayers can reasonably fund. In the final analysis we face an ever present threat, and current financial constraints do not help! So, short of a paradigm shift in society, we’re always faced with demanding that the police squeeze more out of fewer resources. But can they do it alone? My reply is no, they need help, and particularly from the businesses they seek to protect. The subject of security may seem complex to most jewellers, and perhaps best left to experts. But in reality nobody knows the local circumstances better than jewellers themselves, and with just a little external help they can greatly reduce the risks to their own premises, and use police time more effectively. That is why, in the wake of last


36 The Jeweller May 2011

years’ high profile West End robberies, a group of London jewellers and industry experts and bodies, including the NAG, got together under the guidance of the Metropolitan Police, to exchange intelligence and look at the best ways to tackle crime. One of their early achievements is the publication of a ‘Minimum Standards’ guide to jewellers' security measures. The sponsors, including NAG, BJA, NPA, and Met Police, hope that, in conjunction with insurers’ advice, it will answer some of the more basic questions, and act as a template for businesses’ own security needs. Naturally crime evolves as criminals adapt to new obstacles and deterrents. Therefore, no guide or template will ever foresee, predict, or describe every eventuality, but by paying attention to the fundamentals of

The roll call of offences reported to SaferGems continues to mount, with recent appeals circulated to be on the look-out for items stolen as part of the £1 million robbery of a Glasgow diamond trader in February. Alerts have also gone out about the continuing spate of ‘roller shutter’ burglaries in the West Midlands, a security van robbery during a collection in Birmingham, and reports of a jeweller shot with an air weapon in Preston, Lancashire. Appeals for information about the identities of two alleged ‘sleight of hand’ thieves, who use a number of tactics to confuse staff and steal property, are currently ongoing. Diamond scams are once again news, with West-Midlands police seeking information about two men who convince their victims that they are purchasing stones worth £40,000 before relieving them of a deposit of £5,000 for what turns out to be worthless merchandise. Meanwhile detectives in Ellesmere Port are seeking information about an armed gang that robbed a shop in Cheshire Oaks while brandishing hammers and a samurai sword. For more information, to register, or to make a report call 0845 2727 802, fax 0845 2727 803, email: or visit:

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The Voice of the Industry 37

Tom Allen investigates the growth, benefits and drawbacks of ecommerce and social media.

The Social Network f you’re not online, you don’t exist.’ This is swiftly becoming the mantra of a generation; a generation that will soon become repeat jewellery buyers – if it isn’t already. In which case, shouldn’t we all be taking steps to secure the attention of this potentially lucrative market? That might be the logical conclusion, but taking those first steps towards ecommerce and online promotion can be time-consuming and sometimes frustrating. So is it worth it? There is no simple answer; it is up to you to consider the question, with your customers and your stock in mind. Several retailers, among them Harriet Kelsall and Astley Clarke, have benefitted a great deal from their strong online presences, while others who prefer to remain anonymous, have said that being online doesn’t suit their style of retailing, and are still doing very good business. The best response is to consider the question as it directly applies to you. Firstly: ‘Do I need an online shop? How will it benefit me?’ The advantages include a wider customer base, ease of reaching customers and lower start-up costs than in the past – in fact many methods of reaching customers are free, such as Facebook and Twitter accounts. Jason Ojukwu, principal of digital commerce and online marketing consultancy Red Cut, recommends ecommerce: “It’s a good place for retailers to be – there’s lots of development, and consumers


38 The Jeweller May 2011

are willing to purchase more goods online than they were five or ten years ago.” Even without an ecommerce platform the Internet is certainly the most popular and fastest-growing way for retailers to promote themselves. Banner ads, pay-per-click Google campaigns and social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter can bring you huge amounts of web traffic. But the Internet does have drawbacks. It isn’t a case of attaching a shop to a website and then leaving it – this would be like never changing windows on the high street. Drake’s Fine Jewellers in Plymouth launched an ecommerce site 12 months ago, and director Andrew Hirshman admits that it hasn’t been the success they wanted: “We don’t change the website as often as we want, and it becomes very stale very quickly.”

to spend making sure that any website you do launch looks perfect. Nothing is a bigger turn off to a potential online customer than a website that is hard to navigate and ugly to look at. Harriet Kelsall of Harriet Kelsall Jewellery Design launched her website in the late 90s and, although she has seen a lot of repeat business from it, would steer new businesses away from launching themselves online at the moment: “Back then it was really easy to write a website yourself; if it was good and it was what people wanted to see it would float up the top [of the search engines] over time. But now it’s not like that, and I think that the only way to make it as a new website is to invest a lot in search engine optimisation, and that’s really expensive. To do it well from cold, if you’re a start up

It has never been a case of attaching a shop to your website and leaving it – this would be like never changing your windows on the high street An online shop must be promoted and moved as close to the top of the results as possible through a process known as search engine optimisation. There are many specialists and consultants who can give advice in this area, but one of the biggest investments you’ll make is your time – do not underestimate how long you will have

business, would be much more expensive at the moment than investing in really good quality bricks and mortar when there are so many empty units in good locations.” Unlike other jewellers, Harriet writes and builds her own website but new investors will probably want to employ a designer who they can talk to and discuss ideas with

Feature | as the site takes shape. Again, this will require a time investment and you may need to talk to the designer every day, at least in the early stages, as you hammer out how the website will appear – local companies are often favoured because of this. Finding a company with experience in the jewellery sector can be very important. As Ojukwu says, “When you’re dealing with luxury goods online they must be presented in such a way that they still keep that sense of luxury.” There is a risk that the emotive experience of buying jewellery can be lost in the transition from a retail store, where customers can see the sparkle for themselves, to an online one. Retaining the sense of quality from the bricks and mortar business to the digital one can be the difference between success and failure online.

Express yourself Promotion, obviously, is important, and luckily the Internet offers many methods of advertising for both new and established businesses. Quite apart from setting up a website of your own there are also social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to consider – both increasingly popular ways to reach customers directly and quickly. This two-way communication can make the shopping experience fun and interesting but it can also be a path to self-doubt, as Gap discovered in the launch and subsequent retraction of their new logo late last year. The Gap logo debacle highlights one of the dangers of social media and the Internet; when trying to gather opinions, it can be a dangerous tool. “Gap’s management team bumbled the delivery of the new logo, immediately turning to its Facebook and Twitter fans for feedback,” said Brian Sozzi of stock market research company Wall Street Strategies. “The use of social media, while great to gauge product acceptance, hurt Gap’s long overdue step into the new generation.” Putting so much power into the hands of the consumer can be dangerous, which might explain why the majority of jewellers on social media sites use them for adverts more than market research. Tom French of the eponymous jewellers in Ascot is planning to move onto both Facebook and Twitter soon. “We’re looking to back up the website, to show off new developments, exciting things, commissions we’re under-

taking and so on,” he says. “Social media costs nothing except time and effort.” The lack of any monetary investment in social media has attracted a wide section of the industry already, including both manufacturers and retailers. There is a growing trend for both members of staff and managers to take paid lessons from social media training firms while learning how to use sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as part of their professional roles. Social media sites can be used to promote new product launches and items in stock; competitions requiring customer interaction are a swiftly growing phenomenon, as they force repeat visits and significantly advance the brand image, especially if they require people to re-Tweet or ‘share’ the competition pages. Unfortunately for many retailers the time investment required to run these social media accounts is a high enough cost already. While the set up is free, the time required to make them worthwhile for a customer to visit more than once, let alone become a repeat follower, can be a significant barrier to entry. Whether it is on the Internet or on the high street, the aim of any retail practice is to attract repeat buyers; online that means regular, informative updates that people want to read. Updating for the sake of doing an update is counterproductive, and can turn potential customers away.

“When you’re dealing with a luxury good online it has to be presented in such a way that it still maintains that sense of luxury.”

As Hirshman says, “I think they [social media sites] are a fantastic way of spreading the word on important topics and issues; we just wouldn’t want to do it and send out anything insignificant.”

Spreading the word Facebook and Twitter are not the only way to get customers’ attention; it is possible to bypass social media and bring buyers directly to your website. If this is an ecommerce platform, even better! Kelsall has embraced this, and keeps a blog on her website which is updated three times a week. Each member of her team has a column, and she believes that the customers enjoy it. “We have a lot who look at our website every week just to see what’s new on there,” she says. “People know there’s always going to be something fresh.” This turns them into repeat visitors, and hopefully customers. Blogs have the advantage of bringing customers directly to your website, and so you know that the people who read it will be your target audience. You can then use that knowledge to direct them to jewellery you know they might like, or articles they might enjoy. The failing of a blog, though, is that it won’t be seen by customers who prefer to do their shopping and research in-store; blogs have to be tracked down, while newsletters do not. Although similar on the surface – they both tend to cover new developments and ventures in business – blogs and newsletters have several fundamental differences which might influence a decision on which would be best for your business. Both require a regular schedule so the customer knows when new information will be posted. However, while the blog requires customer interaction (in that they have to track it down – unless they have signed up to it using an RSS feed, but this is not available on every blog), a newsletter is sent directly to their email inbox and requires a

The Voice of the Industry 39


| Feature simple click-through to access all the content. This has several added advantages: you know exactly how many people have signed up to your newsletter, making it very easy to track consumer interest; and you have ready access to a large stock of email addresses to send promotional offers to in popular buying seasons. While this is a significant strength of newsletters, it can also be their downfall. The temptation can be to send too much information too often, leading fed up customers to quickly unsubscribe from the bombardment of what can be seen as junk mail. “Even if we don’t think it’s junk, someone else might consider it that way,” says Kelsall. Blogs and newsletters can be an excellent way to keep in touch with your customers outside of social media sites; the communication, however, is entirely one way and relies on customers wanting to read about the new developments and designs you are creating. Without this collaboration the communication falls apart and becomes a waste of time. Time, as Tom French mentioned, is the big cost when it comes to online practices. While a website might be built quickly, it will take time to build it well. A blog entry might be written in a few minutes but will take ongoing time investment to update it every week and to promote it to your customers often enough that they begin to check it themselves. The time investment is a definite concern with blogs and newsletters, but another equally important one is making sure that the content you send out is meaningful. Will it generate sales? Importantly, consider your customer base before deciding on which route to follow; blogs can be a little less formal and often shorter, but newsletters go straight to your customers. The choice is yours, but before starting, think about this

question posed by Ojukwu: “How much content can you generate on a particular subject or about a particular shop on a regular basis?”

All about logistics Your website is up and running. People are visiting daily, and the shop is ready to be launched. There are just two hurdles to cross: securing your customer’s credit card details, and the logistics of moving the jewellery. Security is one of the biggest concerns of any jeweller where a single robbery can cost upwards of £10,000. When looking at ecommerce platforms, it is possibly an even more important area to consider.

Identity theft and credit card copying are becoming more prevalent every year, and customers are aware of this; they won’t hand over their details unless you can assure them that they won’t be passed on or used maliciously. “One of the main issues of selling online is always going to be security – making sure that there’s more security in terms of not only consumer details but credit card details as well," says Ojukwu. “I would put that down as being one of the things to watch out for when developing an ecommerce offering.” If customer’s details aren’t secure a store could open itself up for complaints, and even lawsuits. After a system is in place to keep customer’s details safe, the logistics of stocking, securing and delivering the jewellery will be the last thing to work through. Retail stores

Urban myths about ecommerce •

Selling online takes no effort – FALSE. “There’s an anticipation that because it’s online, somehow it’s going to be easier to do; and in general there’s an additional workload that comes from it.” – Jason Ojukwu You have to sell online to succeed – FALSE. “You have to have an online presence, definitely. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be an online shop, especially in our business. It’s a touchy-feely product, and I still believe that customers would rather come in-store and get the service and the advice from us.” – Andrew Hirshman Ecommerce doesn’t work – FALSE, if you put the effort in. “Having an ecommerce site gave us a completely different audience and every week we get a few new customers who have found us on a search engine.” – Harriet Kelsall

40 The Jeweller May 2011

Dos and don’ts of ecommerce • DO your research on your customers. • DO have a business plan – you need to understand digital marketing and talk to your web designer. • DO promote yourself via search engines, social media, pay-per-click campaigns and SEO. • DON’T underestimate the workload – it’s almost like running an additional business. • DON’T let the technology get ahead of you – keep abreast of it and try to experiment. • DON’T ignore your website

have a high level of security already, but you are unlikely to be able to handle and supply the online side of things from the retail premises. To this end you will need somewhere to hold your stock until it is bought. Three areas are important to perfect when delivering goods from an online purchase: speed of dispatch; secure delivery and having stock. These systems will take time to put in place, especially as a small retailer, but are essential to success online. Keeping your customers informed about their order via email confirmations will assure them that you are working hard to deliver. Many companies have had great success selling online; Astley Clarke is one of these and anyone wishing to enter the ecommerce market can benefit from studying the website. Contact phone numbers and delivery times are prominently displayed on every page, and quick links at the bottom take customers to commonly visited pages. The ubiquitous Facebook and Twitter links are set at the foot, alongside a link to their blog and a recommendation from Harrods. A simple font and unifying white colour scheme ties it all together. Making the move to ecommerce can be a rewarding venture, if one is willing to put in the time and effort to learning how it works, researching the target customer base, and constantly refining selling techniques. Without these, efforts at online selling and promotion can fail badly; but if you have the time and resources to devote to digital media then you will access a growing customer base who will be able to visit you I 24 hours a day.

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The Voice of the Industry 41

| BJA Feature

Click here Business-to-business online marketing is an essential tool for businesses of all sizes and, as Mary Brittain discovered, members of the BJA have been investing heavily to ensure that their websites offer retailers far more than simply product information. f you have ever doubted the effectiveness of business-to-business (B2B) websites – there are some who do – then a survey conducted by Interactive Advertising Bureau in March 2006 might just change your mind. The statistics are impressive: 93 per cent of managers use the Internet everyday for business. 96 per cent believe that online marketing is appropriate for business users; 83 per cent have taken action as a result of seeing an advert on a B2B website and 70 per cent expect their use of B2B websites to increase over the next few years. The report concludes that not only are B2B portals growing, they are also helping export/import companies to make their businesses more effective and assisting all companies to ‘advance to the next level’. Nor are the advantages purely outward facing. Good B2B portals have a great deal to offer in terms of internal business functionality, increasing the performance of the supply chain management system, augmenting a business’s internal messaging system and increasing return on investment. This is a view borne out by Allan Virr, IT manager at Curteis, one of the UK’s leading fine jewellery manufacturers. Curteis was an early adopter of IT and has two full-time



42 The Jeweller May 2011

staff dedicated to creating and maintaining its website ( which has just been re-launched. “A website can’t be a piece of technology that stands separately from everything else. Almost everything we’ve done has been prompted by our customers and what they need from the website. They want to know stock levels; when they can get something and what it will cost. To make the website work we’ve had to change the way we work and alter our back office, stock control and finance systems,” he says. When creating the new site Virr says he looked to other industries, especially fashion, for inspiration. “Our overarching aim was to improve navigation. We’ve got a large range and one item is available in many different alloys and lengths. In fashion they don’t show every option but rather use a filter system to lead the customer to their exact requirements and this is what we have done,” he explains. Curteis’s research seems to have paid off. “Traffic to the site has rocketed since we redeveloped it and it keeps on growing. Our online turnover has increased and so has the amount of time that people spend on the site,” says Virr.

Retailer and designer James Newman is a great proponent of the B2B website. “It’s often quicker, easier and more straightforward than ringing a supplier for a price, especially at weekends or out-of-office hours. It also provides retailers with the opportunity to compare and contrast and you can actually see what you’re getting rather than the person at the other end of the phone trying to describe it to you,” he says. Newman is particularly pro websites at the moment having invested heavily in the creation of a new site of his own ( “Quotations for customers take up a vast proportion of our working day and it has been our aim to make this aspect of the business as efficient as possible. It’s incredibly time consuming getting the data into the system but the benefits are enormous. “We recently calculated that just one of our hand-forged wedding rings – which is available in 15 different widths, several different alloys and all the various finger sizes – offers customers over 2,000 different variations, so you can see the scale of the job.

Any one of those calculations used to take us up to 40 minutes to work out, now all of them and many more besides, are available at the click of the mouse,” he says. Domino, which supplies jewellery components and finished jewellery, is another BJA member to have invested heavily in the creation of a new, buy-online website ( As the company’s sales and marketing manager Andrew Sollitt freely admits, getting all the companys’ many tens of thousands of product permutations up and working was a mammoth task.

BJA Feature | Its presentation is stylish, including lifestyle photography, high-quality product shots and full product information. A key feature of the site enables customers to create sample ‘trays’ of products that interest them, which can be stored and revisited at a later date. The site also prompts visitors to products complementary to those they have purchased. Another plus is a ‘dashboard’ summary of customers’ current order status, showing them progress details of purchases made both online and by telephone.

“Since the website’s launch in September 2010 we have seen a steady increase in its use, so much so that on-line sales have doubled during the first quarter of 2011. While we do not believe the site will replace the strong one-on-one relationship that we have built up with our customers it has been designed to offer everything that can be done in a telephone call. The very positive results show that it is already becoming a useful further facility,” adds Sollitt. Providing an additional facility for his retailers was a prime consideration for David Shem-Tov of London jewellery supplier

can be presented to customers – in their virtual form – in-store on a desktop, laptop or an i-Pad-style tablet which has been personalised to carry their own branding. Each different ring option is automatically priced as the various adaptations take place on the screen, to provide the customer with the RRP for each version. “Sales can be lost, particularly on Saturdays when most suppliers are closed, if the retailer has to call to check availability, or price, on a particular design. With ‘ConfigureRing’ there are no such problems. Prices are immediately available through a link with Stubbs&Co’s B2B website ( where the system will check stock levels automatically and provide accurate delivery dates. It is a great boon in closing sales and makes for a seamless and compelling sales presentation,” says Shem-Tov. April Lavers, a director of London jewellers Heming, who was an early taker for ConfigureRing agrees: “It really is incredibly user-friendly, anyone from the most junior to the most seasoned sales associate could use it. What I particularly like about it is that having created a ring on screen I can then print off the image, which is branded to my store, and give it to the customer to take away with them. This is a facility that simply hasn’t existed for retailers before and is a great sales aid,” she adds. Belfast diamond jewellery specialist Sharman D Neill is another BJA member that has taken the B2B website model and made it very much its own. The company works with its retail partners in a tailored and individual way which is based on an understanding that fine diamond jewellery needs to be sold in store. Whether focussing on

“A website can’t be a piece of technology that stands separately from everything else. Almost everything we’ve done has been Alan Virr prompted by our customers...” Stubbs&Co ( when he developed ‘ConfigureRing’ a software package which takes B2B retailing to a new dimension. It was launched at The Jewellery Show this February and gives retailers the opportunity to supplement a stock of around 50 of Stubbs&Co’s best-selling wedding bands with more than 20,000, easy-toimplement personalisation options which

the client’s brand or supporting them with ‘Diamond by Appointment’ (DbA) each active account is provided with secured access to a commercial, and efficient website. Accessed through password-protected logins this business model showcases new online technology via i-Pads or desktop terminals, and utilises a range of modules which includes high-quality 3D images.

The user-friendly interface also combines a navigation facility identifying top selling lines to aid stock replenishment and increase stock turn. Stock codes and prices are retained within the website and retailers can leverage a large virtual stock, refined to meet their own particular needs. “DbA provides retailers with instant access to a vast additional catalogue of diamond jewellery, so comprehensive that no one shop could possibly stock all of the items shown at any one time. It is constantly updated in terms of stock and price and is a great way for retailers to combat Internet trading of diamonds head-on with the added advantage for consumers of being a source they can trust,” says the company’s MD, Roger Chamberlain. The BJA is keen to encourage more suppliers to further expand their online presence so it has arranged a deal with design company Levells through which members will receive a five to 10 per cent discount on the creation of new websites, both B2B and B2C and other promotional materials. Levells specialises in all aspects of the visual language for its clients and its understanding of brands, proven expertise and

award-winning creativity, combined with cutting-edge technical ability, places it, says its managing director, Mark Levell, in a unique position to deliver Internet solutions that work. “Effective communication isn’t just confined to what you say; or how you say it. More than ever, it’s about where you choose to say it. We now view a website’s content in many ways on many devices. It’s a new era of online marketing and it is essential to ensure that your business is getting it right,” he says.

The Voice of the Industry 43

| Insurance Matters •

Post-robbery: the dos and don’ts In previous issues we have talked you through the steps to take in order to prevent a robbery as well as how to act and what to do should a robbery occur. In the final instalment Neil McFarlane of leading jewellery insurance brokers T.H. March gives valuable advice on the immediate steps to take following such an event. Initial action • Secure the premises and stop trading. This gives the police the best possible chance of finding forensic evidence and prevents inquisitive members of the public and local press reporters from entering • Assist staff or customers who may be injured or suffering from shock • Telephone the police and tell them there has been an armed robbery and give them: – the name and address of your premises and whether anyone has been injured – a description of the offenders and vehicle with direction of escape • Notify your organisation’s security department if it has one Do not touch anything • Avoid obliterating traces left by the raiders, e.g. fingerprints, palm prints and shoe marks

44 The Jeweller May 2011

Do not try to determine the loss if you have to handle pads, drawers or window backs touched by the raiders Preserve anything left behind by the raiders, e.g. written instructions, bags, newspapers or weapons

Record details • Write down the sequence of the events and description of the criminals • Do not confer with others. The dominant personality may alter one’s impressions. Have a pre-prepared prompt sheet listing the details of suspects and vehicles

Keep customers on the premises. They may be essential witnesses. If they insist on leaving take their names and addresses

Secure video evidence • Ensure one person is responsible for securing any video or photographic evidence • Under no circumstances should anyone rewind or playback a video recording. This will affect the usefulness of the video for evidential purposes and detract from the value of any witnesses’ evidence • Ensure that the police are aware that video evidence exists Look after colleagues and customers • Robbery can be a traumatic experience. If necessary, referral should be made to a qualified counsellor (your insurance may cover the cost for staff), Victim Support or a General Practitioner General • Tell the police what has been said to the press, if anything • Do not disclose to the press addresses of staff or witnesses, the value of property stolen or left behind by the raiders

Under no circumstances should anyone rewind or playback a video recording. This will affect the usefulness of the video for evidential purposes •

If there has been an insured loss, tell your insurers as soon as possible. Consider reporting details to SaferGems

Family owned insurance brokers T.H. March & Co Limited has been serving the jewellery industry since 1887. With offices around the UK, the company offers a wide range of insurance products including schemes for the customers of jewellers.

| Regular


Where to go, what to read, what to see…

Books Mounting & Setting Stones, by Sonia Cheadle (£16.99, paperback, A&C Black) If it’s true that we never stop learning then even experienced jewellers will glean something from this book. The author (who also specialises in contemporary diamond jewellery) has a passion for unusual and fancy-shaped gemstones and found it necessay to create her own mounts for her finds. She starts at the beginning of this process, explaining the how, what and

why very clearly and describing every type of setting, from claw and gypsy to pavé.

Sales & Exhibitions

• Treasure, 10th-12th, Victoria House, Bloomsbury, WC1 The contemporary jewellery exhibition, which includes Essence, the popular ethical jewellery pavilion. • 11th June, Hatton Garden Festival The celebration of London’s traditional jewellery district. For full details of the week’s events visit: From 6th June throughout summer, ‘British Silver Week’ will continue at various shops and galleries throughout the UK, including at the Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh and the Sheffield Assay Office.

May 9th-13th May, British Silver Week, Pangolin, King’s Cross, London NW1 An exhibition to highlight Silver beakers by Wally Gilbert the depth and breadth of contemporary silversmithing in the UK. Each day will offer different demonstrations and features. ( 27th May-16th July, Mindful of Silver, Goldsmiths’ Hall, London EC2 An exhibition that will hopefully challenge the public’s perception of the modern day silversmith. At the show are twelve very different silver vessels, created by leading silversmiths, including Theresa Nguyen who made the organic piece shown above. ( June 6th-12th June, London Jewellery Week, events at various venues across London, including: • JewelEast, Old Spitalfields Market, EC1 A showcase for new designers, costume and vintage jewellery.

46 The Jeweller May 2011

Jewellery Solutions, by David McLoughlin (£16.95, paperback, A&C Black) This book would be ideal for anyone who wants to learn about jewellery care and repair or indeed to learn more, because every possible eventuality has been covered here. Whether it’s neglected jewellery that needs reviving, clip earrings to be converted

25th June-28th September, Time Regained: works by artist-goldsmith Kevin Coates, Wallace Collection, London W1 A distinguished Liveryman of the Goldsmiths’ Company and frequently described as an alchemist and a Renaissance man, Coates has been an associate artist at the Wallace Collection since 2007 and his works can be found in a diverse range of public and private collections including 10 Downing Street and the V&A. The works in

to hooks or pearls to be restrung, McLoughlin has thought of it. He looks as base metal costume jewellery – vintage included – as well as fine pieces. He also talks about the history of jewellery and the various styles. Portrait Jewels (£29.95, Thames & Hudson) The author draws on her knowledge of the history of art, jewellery and literature to bring this lavish and comprehensive tome on the history of miniature portraits, cameos and intaglio set into jewellery. It’s a very specific subject that hasn’t received much attention until now and this book covers five centuries, beginning with the 16th century Médicis. Particularly fascinating is the final chapter on the tiny portraits that were surrounded by and covered with diamonds – a trend started by Marie de Médici.

this exhibition have been inspired directly by treasures at the Wallace Collection. (

Jewellery & Watch Trade Fairs June 3rd-6th: JCK, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas A new venue for this major jewellery, watch and gem fair, which now includes expanded days to take in LUXURY buying (2nd-7th) and AGTA gem fair (May 31st-June 6th). ( 5th-7th: Pulse, Earl’s Court, London Summer selling show of fashion jewellery and watches among the gifts, accessories and fashion. ( 9th: The Jewellery Show Salon at Treasure, Victoria House, Bloomsbury, WC1 The new trade day to kick-off Treasure at London Jewellery Week. ( 23rd-26th: Hong Kong Jewellery & Watch Fair, Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre. Including jewellery in the Fine Design and Fine Gem pavilions. (






















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Last Word It's been long overdue, so this month, for the first time, we have given The Last Word to a female industry figure – Della Tinsley, managing director of London Jewellery Week finds herself in The Jeweller hot seat. Personal Profile Della Tinsley is a project manager and designer with a degree in 3D design. She has 20 years experience as a glass and interior designer as well as 18 years experience creating and organising events. She has an in-depth understanding of the creative process and environment, gained from making her own work and her experience of developing and managing high profile events and shows. Besides being at the helm of LJW, Della is also the founder of the East London Design Show.

Where is your favourite holiday destination and why? I am happy anywhere with my family and friends by a pool in the sun, with book and a drink, watching the kids play.

If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about the jewellery industry what would it be? Bad design infuriates me – such a waste of materials what ever they are. And bad images are the bane of our lives; we know it’s beautiful but if it’s hanging from a tree on a cloudy day no one will use it in their magazine.

What three words describe you best… in your view and according to others? In my view passionate, grafter, curious and according to those in the office – tenacious, loyal and vivacious.

Do you Tweet? I have just started but LJW, through Nell and David, is working with a great team at Benchpeg on all our social media, so I am learning very quickly.

How do you describe your personal style? Colourful with a nod to the fifties and sixties. I always start with the jewellery and accessories.

Looking back at your career, what one thing would you do differently if you had your time over? This is a tough one as I think that it all adds to what makes a career, and experience comes from triumphs and failures. But I have been too trusting with past collaborations and have lost money as a result, so possibly I’d be more cautious and write tighter contracts. To what do you attribute your success? My husband, a great team and being able to do a job I love.

50 The Jeweller May 2011

Tell us something not many people know about you… I once threw Alexander McQueen out of one of my parties in Shoreditch and I’m obsessed with stationery. Favourite shopping destination (shop, street, city or country!)? East London Design Show for all my Christmas presents; Treasure for the best jewellery; pottering around Ormskirk market with my Mum on a Saturday afternoon on visits home; Columbia Road for flowers and cupcakes; Black Truffle on Broadway Market for shoes and John Lewis for everything else If you hadn’t gone into the jewellery/ events business what career would you have chosen? I started my career as a designer and the great thing about the events we create is that we get to work closely with fantastic designers and craftspeople across all disciplines. But if I did have to choose another path… I wanted to be an archeologist when I was teenager and I worked on several restoration projects before college – I loved the labels ! What’s your current bedside reading? Mr Chartwell by Rebecca Hunt Quick fire (no deliberating) • Red or white wine? White • Shoes or handbags? Shoes • Diamonds or coloured stones? Coloured stones • White or yellow metal? White • TV or radio? Radio during the day, TV at night • Bentley or Roller? Old Roller • Delegator or control freak? I so want to say delegator but I am afraid it’s control freak • Beatles or Rolling Stones? Beatles

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