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The impact of millennial and Gen Z consumers on the jewellery industry has become the focus of most market studies. The existence of this new consumer group has revolutionised the way companies do business and industry giant De Beers Group is no exception. During his recent trip to Hong Kong, De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver sat down with JNA to share his views on the future of the diamond trade.
The ever-growing popularity of online purchases has changed the dynamics in the retail scene, and enhancing shoppers’ experience at physical stores has become more vital. To further improve its image, world-renowned luxury brand Cartier has recently renovated its flagship store located in the heart of Hong Kong’s retail district, making it a must-visit boutique in town.
China’s abundant supply of natural and human resources and its relatively competitive production costs have attracted local producers as well as investors from abroad to set up manufacturing facilities on the mainland to cover demand from both domestic and export markets. At present, China is a major source of freshwater pearls. The country also produces gold and a wide variety of natural coloured gemstones, accounting for a significant portion of global supply. With production facilities concentrated in the southern part of the country, cities such as Shenzhen and Guangzhou (particularly its Panyu district) in Guangdong Province have become major trading hubs for global jewellery players.
The millennial and Gen Z generations combined accounted for two-thirds of global diamond jewellery sales in 2017, as diamond jewellery demand reached a new record high of US$82 billion, according to the latest Diamond Insight Report by De Beers Group. The report noted that millennials are in general more mistrusting, requiring brands to earn their trust before they can pursue growth, while Gen Z tend to be more individualistic and optimistic, desiring products that help build their own personal brands. At the same time, the two generations adopt similar stances with regards to valuing love, being digital natives, being engaged with social issues and desiring authenticity and self-expression.
Marketing, innovation and e-commerce are the top priorities of Aviel Elia, the new managing director of the Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies, as the country’s diamond industry flourishes on the back of greater government support and international recognition of its prowess with large diamonds.
While online retail has gained traction in recent years, jewellery stores are still very much in the game. Enhanced customer service and personalised shopping experiences are but some of the measures that will enable brick-and-mortar jewellers to survive and thrive in an era of increasing online retail.
Platinum Guild International (PGI®), together with its brand ambassador Yang Yang, launched the advertising film, The Legend of Platinum Dandelion, depicting the beauty of true love with pure and graceful images. In the film, Yang Yang plays the role of an innocent, brave, persevering and enthusiastic gardener who lived on the dandelion planet waiting for his true love. The film presents the platinum dandelion fairy tale in the most enchanting and beautiful manner while interpreting the eternal charm of pure platinum.
Transparency has become a byword in the gemstone sector, with industry groups and other stakeholders staunchly supporting gem education and investments in traceability programmes. At the centre of this progressive movement is technology – a crucial agent of change amid a highly fragmented and complex world of gems.
Emeralds continue to command attention in the international coloured gemstone industry, thanks to their immense value and historic charm. Modern buyers, meanwhile, are now more receptive to other sources of emeralds as quality becomes a key buying factor along with provenance.
The battle lines are drawn between synthetic and natural diamonds, with neither conceding much as new developments and regulations in the trade win each side small victories instead of definitive gains. The rivalry plays out in product, price and positioning, with synthetic and mined players out to challenge the status quo.
Sapphires continue to captivate the market with their alluring depths of colour and suitability for jewellery and personal collections. Demand remains robust for the gem, with good-quality sapphires of smaller sizes moving particularly well in the market.
The ruby’s formidable status in the realm of gemstones remains unchallenged to this day. Unrivalled in colour, fluorescence and stability, the ruby has proven itself worthy of the title the ‘King of Gemstones’ or ‘Ratnaraj’ in ancient Sanskrit.
A leading player in China’s pearl sector, Ruans Pearl (Holding) Co Ltd has been in the business for more than three decades. Creating a successful pearl brand however is only part of the company’s ambition – more importantly, it aims to change the market’s perception of pearls.
To Yu Chung-ta, founder and president of Chia Ta Jewellery Co Ltd, hunting for precious and rare gemstones from around the world is more than just business – it’s a passion. Inside Yu’s treasure trove are exquisite pieces with breathtaking craftsmanship, masterpieces to delight collectors and connoisseurs.
China, the world’s biggest market for platinum jewellery, also leads global growth in demand for gold, diamond and coloured gemstone jewellery. According to a market study by the National Gemstone Testing Centre (NGTC), China’s demand for diamond jewellery is estimated at 62 billion yuan (about US$9.7 billion), with a projected annual growth rate of 5 to 10 percent over the next five years. Despite the economic downturn in recent years, China remains one of the world’s most lucrative jewellery markets, supported by a growing middle class and higher-income groups. The rise of millennials also provides new opportunities for investors from all regions.