US Holiday jewelry sales expected to skyrocket

According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, US jewelers can expect revenue from jewelry sales in the US between November 1 and December 24 will grow 59% compared to the same period last year.


Australia becomes world’s biggest producer of gold for first time

Australia has become the world’s biggest producer of gold for the first time, having played second fiddle to China for the last decade. Australia unearthed 157 tons of gold in the first half of the year, pipping China by four tonnes.


Nigerian minister mulls death penalty for gold smuggling – report

Nigeria’s deputy minister in charge of mines and steel development has called for the death penalty for gold smuggling in the West African country.


Gemfields back to black

Gemfields is expected to register a net profit after tax of $23.8-million in the first half of the year compared with the net loss after tax of $56.7-million, a year earlier. Earnings per share are expected to be 2 US cents from a loss per share of 4...


Debmarine Namibia's new diamond recovery vessel to arrive in SA next week

Debmarine Namibia’s new N$7 billion diamond recovery vessel, Additional Mining Vessel #3 (AMV3), is expected to arrive in Cape Town, South Africa next week ahead of commissioning early next year.


Christmas and New Year Have Never Been Cancelled

21 december 2009

The Best Jewelry of Russia Show which took place at the All-Russia Exhibition Center in Moscow was concluded on December 7 and the Rough&Polished correspondent probed some of its participants for their Christmas moods.

OOO Hardt Diamond - Carina Oganesyants, General Manager:

We started to work during the crisis, therefore we have virtually nothing to compare with. But anyway it is possible to work and our business is moving. I believe that all of us will be able to come out of the crisis, and everything will be all right.

You have a lot of diamond jewelry pieces on your display. Are you not afraid of instability on the diamond market?

Not at all, I don’t think there is anything going very wrong with this market. Actually, diamonds are a good investment of money, be it in crisis or in any other time.

Souveniry Baltiki - Vasily Simonov, General Manager:

I wouldn’t say that we were somehow affected by the crisis. May be our wholesale buyers turned pettier, but their quantity went up. Retail decreased a bit. However, in general terms, judging by our sales, the appeal of jewelry pieces made of amber for the Russian buyer remained at its former level. I mean more affordable goods, set in silver. Demand for amber in gold has decreased by 30-40%. However, silver has risen in comparison with the previous year. As a whole, the global amber market is a little bit lower than before. We buy raw material straight from the Kaliningrad Amber Factory. Their price for raw amber remained unchanged, but as far as I can see, their sales decreased. The Dubai-based stores which used to buy amber jewelry set in gold and silver were closed, and the American market dropped practically twice. The Chinese market is so far growing although it would be more correct to say that it is just alive. In Europe all the major markets decreased.

Brilliant Gilde - Anton Kovalkin, General Manager:

We are basically dealing with diamond jewelry, and during the current year we had to diversify from the luxury segment to the lower end of the market decreasing our price range. We have replaced some of our suppliers, and switched over from goods made in Europe to goods made in Asia due to the latter’s cheaper labor and more comprehensible cost of jewelry. Earlier we worked with Italy and Germany, and now with Hong Kong and Thailand. If we compare our sales with the summer period and its total standstill than we can say there is some kind of revival now, a sort of “Renaissance.” However, if we compare the current demand with the Christmas period last year it is now two or three times less. And, as it seems to me, the situation - at least, in this country - will be aggravated. In Russia, the crisis made the poor even poorer, while the rich got richer. For us, jewellers, it is bad, because one person who can afford diamond jewelry does not need as many pieces as, say, ten people could buy. If the government will not take measures to improve the situation of the grass-root population this will badly affect business, and not only its jewelry segment.

Sargon - Antonina, Manager:

In what way did the crisis affect demand for designer-made diamond jewelry?

In Moscow the sales situation in this segment is very different from that in provinces. Thus, at the jewelry exhibition in Saint-Petersburg we always have high retail sales – better than in Moscow. Last year we went to Kazan to take part in the local exhibition – it was good. However, Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk, for instance, fell short of our expectations. The public there is conservative and unspoiled and prefers cheap and plain things. So if they buy, for example, diamonds, they prefer old classic design and well-known manufacturers working on the market since the Soviet time. Lately, it has become difficult to work in Moscow. Retail buyers here are divisible into those who come just to purchase a classic solitaire and do not even look at designer jewelry because it is too expensive. The second type includes people for whom visiting such exhibitions and purchasing jewelry is some kind of a hobby. Thus, one of these days one female customer complained that the organizers of the exhibitions at the All-Russia Exhibition Centre and in the Sokolniki Park in Moscow messed up both events opening them simultaneously and making people rush between them to be able to see both. Such people do not look at the price, but perfectly understand brands, and it is not so simple to please them.

MERRAN - Dmitry Kletov, Manager:

Life under the crisis is certainly worse than it was earlier, but in general it would be wrong to complain – our trade all the same goes on. People are in the mood to buy jewels, and all we have to do is just to change our program, to change our terms adapting to the economic situation in the world, then everything will be OK.

You mean – to reduce prices?

Well, right now it is difficult to reduce prices, because gold goes up, and this is an objective factor pushing prices higher. I mean leaving to other niches, may be to the silver segment. But gold is promising, and in any case it is a good investment. People will keep buying gold jewelry against all odds. The situation with diamonds is more complex since outlooks for the diamond market are rather grim and misty at the moment. Even so, sales are currently growing a little – crisis is crisis, but Christmas and New Year have never been cancelled. Still, this year’s sales are of course lower than one year ago.

Anna Tishinski, Rough&Polished, Moscow