21 Sep 2021
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Diamonds will continue to light up people’s lives with its sparkle and here’s why
Why the demand for diamonds will still be relevant?
By: Diamond World News Service
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Jul 21 2020 12:54PM
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Basically, we have to portray diamonds as a safe investment. We used to do it in the past. People don’t want to make impulse purchases on EMIs anymore. This is the perfect time to let people know that diamonds are a safe investment and that we need to go back to our roots, and do what our parents and grandparents did. And with diamonds, one can buy it, wear it and still think of it as a safe investment Alkesh Shah, Gold Star JewelleryAs long as love and happiness remain key to people, diamonds will stay relevant. No pandemic can bring down the allure of diamonds. With weddings being downsized world over, people saving from not spending on vacations and other avenues of entertainment, more money can be spent on buying diamond jewellery. It is up to the industry as to how they can win back their rightful market share says Vijetha Rangabashyam

Pandemic doesn’t deter people from celebrating
Weddings may not be “big-fat” but there will still be weddings. Parents may not want to cater food for a pack of thousand but they would never want to compromise on the jewellery they want to gift their daughter on her special day. And no matter the scale of this pandemic, people would still want to celebrate special moments like birthdays and anniversaries in a small yet memorable way. “Until women exist in this world, diamonds will never go out of demand. After the pandemic, men are spending more time with their life partners and gifting has become more prevalent,” says Sunit Hirawat of Sunvim Exports. The fact that they are not in a position to go out and celebrate it lavishly may in fact be a reason for them to splurge a bit more and buy their loved ones something of lasting value. Diamond jewellery retailer Orra has created an heirloom trousseau box called the Generation’s Box, which can be passed on as heirloom from one generation to the other. The box starts at around Rs 6 lacs. Michelle Demaree, founder of Beverly Hills based Miss Diamond Ring believes that every diamond represents one couple’s unique love story. “Couples will never stop falling in love and couples will never stop getting engaged. People want to feel happy, they want to feel important, they seek pleasureable experiences and items that create lasting joy and meaning. People will never stop wanting this – ever,” says Michelle.

realised that gold and diamonds are an investment and they hold their value. We need to capitlise on the timelessness. People are not spending money carelessly – they want to obviously spend their savings on something prudently, so we have to give them that opportunity. Trends may change but timelessness is going to be very important, especially in this fickle world Dipu Mehta, OrraThe Carpe Diem mentality
If this pandemic has taught us one thing, it is the fact that life is uncertain and fickle. So, people want to make the most of it. Michelle sold a 10 ct radiant 3-stone ring to a client from Florida who wanted to impress his girlfriend who fell in love with a few 7-13 ct stones from the inventory Demaree had put together for the couple exclusively. “My average clientele purchase rings in the 3-10 carat range. Clients see a window of opportunity to propose, especially with the threat of a resurgence of Covid in the Fall, so it seems consumer mentality is Carpe Diem, life is short, love cannot be quarantined - let’s do this!” says Michelle.

It is still a materialistic world!
The truth is, the wealthy continue to remain wealthy, even after the pandemic. World over, these wealthy folks are stuck at home, not being able to visit their favourite holiday destination or spend their summers in a luxurious retreat. There is a lot of pent up frustration, of not being able to lead a life that they believe is normal, which is all getting channeled towards buying expensive baubles. The recently held online jewellery auctions are a testament to this. “Trends may change but timelessness is going to be very important, especially in this fickle world. People are going to be relooking at what is important in their lives now. Something that is timeless resonate more with them. We have not seen a downward trend in terms of ticket size for our diamond products, it has stayed where it was pre-Covid,” says Dipu Mehta of Orra. The diamond industry world over needs to capitalise on this and gain back its market share. “Diamonds do the same thing that exercise, alcohol, drugs, sugar/sweets, sex, luxury spending does - they give people pleasure - that daily sought after dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins. If a pandemic threatens to take away each individual’s happiness, what does the brain do? It goes treasure hunting for pleasure “pleasure hunting”, which is why alcohol sales are up and the rich are still spending and in some cases even more frivolously than before,” adds Michelle.

We should learn a lot from the mutual fund industry. In 4 years, mutual fund hasn’t given anyone any returns. But the way people are being pulled towards investing in mutual funds is great because their marketing is so good. Now every graduate, fresh out of college, with his first job, wants to open a mutual fund account. This kind of initiative is not there in the diamond industry Sunit Hirawat, Sunvim ExportsDiamonds – a solid investment vehicle
Any luxury item one buys, be it a handbag or a car, the minute one makes the purchase, the value of the item depreciates by 15-20 per cent. This is not the case with diamonds. Alkesh Shah of Gold Star Jewellery believes that the industry needs to go back to basics.“We have to portray diamonds as a safe investment. During uncertain times, savings is important. People don’t want to make impulse purchases on EMIs anymore. This is the perfect time to let people know that diamonds are a safe investment and that we need to go back to our roots, and do what our parents and grandparents did. The resale value of gold and diamonds has only gone up. And with diamonds, one can buy it, wear it and still think of it as a safe investment,” says Alkesh. In the heydays, jewellers in India would always convert gold buying customers into diamond buying customers because that’s where the money was. “We need to get that back in practice,” adds Alkesh.
Customers have realised that gold and diamonds are an investment and they hold their value. There was a lot of predisposed buying happening but now people have this inherent need to feel safe. “People are not spending money carelessly – they want to obviously spend their savings on something prudently, so we have to give them at opportunity. People are picking up solitaires and we are also going to be focusing on simple jewellery,” adds Dipu. People who have purchased solitaires a few years ago have made some money on it, may be not a lot. But people who have invested in real estate, equities or bonds have lost a lot of money. And diamonds are also a great investment against the dollar. “We haven’t really promoted diamonds as an investment and we should do that. We should learn a lot from the mutual fund industry. In 4 years, mutual fund hasn’t given anyone any returns. But the way people are being pulled towards investing in mutual funds is great because their marketing is so good. Now every graduate, fresh out of college, with his first job, wants to open a mutual fund account. This kind of initiative is not there in the diamond industry because the market is also very scattered,” adds Sunit.

We are all pleasure seeking people, so those who can, will acquire their “happy things and experiences” from all avenues possible and that includes a sparkling diamond bauble. Around 60% of my calls are for ovals, 20% are for radiants, 10% cushions and the final 10% rounds. The thin, simple solitaire setting trend is strong, I would say around 75% of my calls are for that setting, the remainder are generally 3 stone rings Michelle Demaree, Miss Diamond RingA strong need for “selfexpression”
People have also had a lot of time on their hands during this lockdown. There has been a lot of product and brand discovery that has been happening. Clients are more likely to go for brands whose ideology and sense of aesthetic resonate with them. “Once the lockdown started to ease, we really felt people’s need for joy and happy moments, they wanted to “treat themselves” in an act of self-love, so it seems they are more open to discovering new brands and pieces, and thus happily we have noticed more activity and interest around the brand,” says Parisian jeweller Marie Mas. People will continue to express themselves with their choice of clothing and accessory and they will continue to seek happiness through the sparkle of a diamond that is irreplaceable. Even though people are stuck in their homes, the need to feel beautiful is still very real. And when this is all over, women would want to flaunt their favourite purchases during their outing.

As lockdown eased in Europe, Marie noticed that clients showed an increased interest in pieces from her new collection ‘The Wave’. “It is an ode to harmony, femininity and deceptive simplicity. I think it is the surprise, joy and excitement which our best seller “Queen Wave ring” brings, that it has attracted the interest of clients in the postpandemic world. It is my belief that people buy fine jewellery because they fall in love with it and because the piece means something special to them. So, I don’t think fine jewellery creation and client interest will stop, I think people will gravitate to buy something which carries that special personal meaning—which can be found in designer jewellery, carefully crafted,” adds Marie.

It is my belief that people buy fine jewellery because they fall in love with it and because the piece means something special to them. So, I don’t think fine jewellery creation and client interest will stop, I think people will gravitate to buy something which carries that special personal meaning— This time has given us an opportunity to reflect and really connect with our private clients, getting to know them better— which is one of my favourite things to do and is key to an honest and strong foundation for the brand Marie Mas, Marie Mas JewelryLoyal clients would want to support their favourite brands
A strong brand connect is now more important than before. All that equity a brand has created for so many years will now reap its rewards as no faithful customer would want their favourite brands to go out of business. This pandemic has not affected everybody financially and if people are inclined towards purchasing diamond jewellery, they may as well support brands that they have had previously bought from. “I had a bridal client who walked into our store with her mother. Her wedding was scheduled for July 12th and she was so nervous because she felt jewellery stores wouldn’t open by then. So, she came in the minute we opened, spent a good three hours and bought her jewellery. Though it was purely need based, I didn’t see a difference in her sentiment,” says Ishu Datwani of Anmol.

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