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Eileen McClelland

Restore the Romantic “Language of Diamonds”

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Stephane Fischler, president of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, says a bit of optimism and improved communication are needed at every level of the diamond industry.

On a global level, an international diamond guild is needed to restore the romantic “language of diamonds” as well as the reputation of the business. Such an entity could come together to openly discuss transparency of information, the fact that the consumer is becoming more and more educated, and the current preoccupation with certificates and synthetics, Fischler says.

Retailers have a large role in reshaping the conversation with consumers, too.

“Jewelers have to take those issues (certificates) simply as an information package if the consumer asks for it,” Fischler says. “They have to take back their space and reclaim their knowledge and their skills. And we who supply them have to help them. There is a lack of dialogue between the retailer and the people in the middle of the supply chain.”

Fischler spoke on a “Diamond Power” panel at the Smart Jewelry Show. Antwerp World Diamond Centre is a private organization, which represents, promotes, and defends the interests of the Antwerp diamond community, both in Belgium and abroad. The Antwerp delegation planned their visit to the United States around the Smart Jewelry Show in Chicago and the New York Diamond Week. AWDC aims to help Antwerp diamond traders do business more efficiently by setting up networking events, inviting buyers to come to Antwerp, and organizing seminars.

North America is the most important market in the world for polished diamonds. Last year, at least 602,000 carats of rough diamonds and 771,000 carats of polished diamonds were exported from Antwerp to America, with a total value of over $4 billion. The diamond trade represents 4.7 percent of all trade between Belgium and the United States.

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In turn, American jewelers realize the vast majority of their revenues, approximately 57 percent, from diamond sales.

The diamond community needs to find a way to promote the passion, romance and language of diamonds as a whole, since generic advertising is no longer routinely produced.


When someone comes in to buy a diamond engagement ring, he’s already passionate, he’s already in love.”

Stephane Fischler

The good news is that there is much to promote, Fischler says, both in beauty and romance. “Diamonds have never been so beautiful,” says Fischler, a third-generation diamantaire who started working at Fischler Diamonds in 1979. “Techniques linked to technology have brought us a level of perfection that never existed before.”

Fischler suggests that retailers consider the passion that consumers bring to the purchase of diamonds and mirror that attitude.

“When someone comes in to buy a diamond engagement ring, he’s already passionate, he’s already in love,” Fischler says. “The story is already there. So take the opportunity. If you’re not passionate when you trade in diamonds, then you shouldn’t be there. Diamonds convey passion, love and desire.”

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When a customer comes to your store and starts talking about research he’s done on the Internet, it’s up to the retailer to redirect the conversation by asking the question, “Why do you want to buy a diamond? If you’ve come to my shop, you must have something to celebrate!”

Manage the conversation. “Young people need to be reassured. If they come into your store, you shouldn’t be cynical. We have forgotten the language of diamonds. We talk too much about synthetics, problems, conflicts. We forget to talk about what diamonds are, what they do, what they mean.

“We talk a lot about challenges and we fail to talk about opportunities,” Fischler says. “Retailers in the U.S. have given away their own claim to expertise to certificates, to the Internet. When a customer comes to a shop to buy a diamond, this is a serious decision, a big decision. It often means something is happening in their lives, and it’s so much more an emotional decision than I believe any other purchase. The retailer has to understand the psyche of the consumer who comes in the shop to buy a diamond.

“The mystery, the magic of diamonds, have to be restored by retailers and certainly in the marketing of the whole industry,” Fischler says.

Eileen McClelland is the Managing Editor of INSTORE. She believes that every jewelry store has the power of cool within them.

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