Brazilian Star

Brazilian Star

Brazil is home to an increasingly important jewellery market and this market is gradually making its place global jewellery scene. Kavita Parab explores this emerging new jewellery market

Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. As the world’s fifth-largest country by both area and population, it is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas. Brazil’s economy is the world’s ninth-largest by nominal GDP and seventh-largest by GDP (PPP) as of 2015. A member of the BRICS group, Brazil until 2010 had one of the world’s fastest growing major economies, with its economic reforms giving the country new international recognition and influence.

Gems & Jewellery Industry
Brazil is reportedly the world’s 11th largest gold producer and the 13th largest consumer of gold. It has also long been associated with exotic gemstones such as paraiba tourmaline, amethyst, alexandrite, aquamarine and ametrine, and is now one of the top three gemstone producers in the world with rough exports totaling US$57 million in 2014 while cut and polished exports hit US$131 million. In 2014, exports of gemstones, jewellery and precious metals from Brazil reached close to $3 billion. Notably, according to GFMS, in 2013, Brazil stood in second place worldwide as a producer of gold-plated jewellery, overtaking Korea and just behind China. Its exports of gold-plated jewellery equal about 10 per cent of the world demand. It is estimated that the industry in Brazil, encompassing both the manufacturing and retail sectors, comprises approximately 22,000 companies, generating close to 40,000 jobs, mentions CIBJO Congress 2015 report. Gaetano Cavalieri, CIBJO President in the CIBJO Congress 2015 mentioned about rising importance of Latin America as jewellery manufacturer. He mentioned “Despite the fact that jewellery and the jewellery crafts have a been a fixture in the region for literally millennia, the fact that a major industry gathering is being hosted here is indicative of Latin America’s increasing importance as a jewellery manufacturer and consumer market.”

Brazilian Jewellery
Brazilian jewellery is diverse in its design and style. Though diverse the designs are bold and convey happiness, cheerfulness of the people of the soil. The multicultural influences which the Brazilian people have open mindedly accepted and carried forward gets reflected in the jewellery designs here. Therefore the Brazilian jewellery designs are not only fresh but also quite modern and bold.

Leading Jewellery Brands
H. Stern
Founded in 1945 by Stern Family, this Brazilian jewellery brand is not only famous in Brazil, but also abroad. H. Stern has around 280 stores and can be found in 32 countries. It is known for lending its jewels to celebrities who use them for occasions, like award ceremonies and social events, a strategy that helps promote the brand to foreigners. The company’s headquarters is in Rio de Janeiro and has more than 3,000 employees, including 300 artisans. Stern family still owns the company.

Vivara, one of the largest Brazilian players in the jewellery market, started its business in a tiny store in São Paulo in 1962. Today, besides having an e-commerce operation, the brand has more than 150 stores throughout the country. The jewels that were handmade back in 1962 are currently produced in a 2000 sq mtrs factory, located in São Paulo.

Few takeaways from EuroMonitor’s report on Jewellery in Brazil published in 2016
A bad economy creates a fertile environment for costume jewellery. Sales of costume jewellery and cheaper collections of fine jewellery are growing as economic conditions are limiting expenditure among middle-income consumers, while high-income consumers are purchasing domestically as a result of a strong US dollar. The cost of gold and silver is a concern for fine jewellery producers; at the same time, costume jewellery producers must make do without cheap metals such as lead and nickel.

Competitive Landscape
The top brands in the category remain Vivara and H Stern. Both are fine jewellery brands that have been in the market for many years, are well known and have a strong presence in retail. The next two largest brands are costume jewellery brands Morana and Accessorise. Between Morana and Baloné, Morana’s parent company Grupo Ornatus, has 505 stores across the country.

Costume jewellery sales of items made of cheap metals, such as nickel, will suffer greatly in 2016-2021 as recent legislation has made it illegal to import or produce products made of these materials. Fine jewellery brands will continue, at least in the near future, to create and promote inexpensive collections to capture middle-income consumers.

Brazil produces the greatest variety of gems and semiprecious stones in the world, including diamonds, emeralds and amethyst. Mining is very much a part of the Brazilian culture and prospecting is a way of life for many people. If a mineral deposit is found in an area where no exploration license has been granted then prospectors, called garimpeiros, can mine the area using manual tools to extract the minerals. Of course many of the mines in Brazil are modern operations, owned by mining companies, similar to Canada. Some of the most spectacular gems come from the region near the city of Belo Horizonte, in the state of Minas Gerais. This area produces emerald, aquamarine, rubellite (pink tourmaline), green tourmaline, imperial topaz, alexandrite and amazonite.

Brazil became the breadbasket for affordable emerald in the early 1960s. Brazilian Emerald stone was first discovered in Brazil around 1920. Brazil has upgraded its image as an emerald mining center. The finding has made since 1980 at Itabera in Minais Gerais, Santa Teresinha in Goias, and Nova Era near Itabera are supplying the best emerald Brazil has ever produced. Indeed, top stones from these mines beg comparison to Colombian emerald. Itaitinga mine located near Hematita, 16 km northeast of Belmont. This alluvial deposit produces an average of five kilograms per day, which yields about 250 carats per month of faceted alexandrite. Some exceptional v-shaped twins up to 22 cm in length were recently recovered from Itaitinga mine.

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