Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair to showcase extraordinary choice of diamonds
ANTWERP, January 5, 2014 – The Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair (ADTF), which will take place on January 26-28, will showcase an extraordinary selection of diamonds.
Alisa Moussaieff, the mastermind and driving force of Moussaieff Jewellers, which has boutiques on Bond Street and Park Lane in London and in Geneva, has visited the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair to find new sources of gemstones.
She has become one of the most influential and respected players in the diamond market, known for her instinct, her dedication and passion for rare and incomparable gems.
Speaking of her last visit to the fair, Mrs Moussaieff said, “It was very useful for me. I managed to buy a 14 carat D flawless there the day I went, which otherwise I wouldn’t have bought because it had just appeared on the market and would have been snapped up.
“At the time it was a very good deal.
“I didn’t know the stone was there. Sometimes these things just appear and if you grab them at the right time, you’re there.”
Mrs Moussaieff said of the diamonds available at Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair, “It’s good quality and a good range.”
Over the years Mrs Moussaieff has built up a remarkable collection of extraordinary gemstones, which includes such historic pieces as the “Moussaieff Red”, which at 5.11 carats, is the biggest Natural Fancy Red certificated diamond in the world.
Jody Wainwright, Director and Head of Gemstone Buying of Boodles, a leading UK retailer of fine, high-end diamond jewellery, says Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair offers a great choice of cuts and makes contacts with key dealers easy.
“The fair is a good networking opportunity and last year we actually bought from a few new people. However, it is also a good occasion to see all of our known dealers. We were mainly looking for 2ct+ diamonds,” Jody said.
He added, “There was a good selection of stock available but it was also intimate enough to get around.”
Boodles are looking for D-G VS+ clarity stones or fancy colours, said Jody, who travels all over the world to find the best gemstones.
He believes only the best diamonds will do.
Jody said that for him, the benefits of sourcing stones from the Antwerp diamond community were the short and straightforward trip from London, and the city’s importance as the home of many large diamond companies.
“We mainly buy from Antwerp on a regular basis,” he said. “You can’t beat the thrill of buying a gorgeous jewel.”
Asked if he had made valuable new industry contacts when he visited the fair, Jody said, “We did and I will also be attending the fair again in 2014.
“The fair seems to be getting better each year.”
Roberto Coin Jewellery
Roberto Coin, one of the world’s leading diamond jewellers, is a regular visitor to Antwerp and came last year to Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair, which he sees as a superb opportunity to keep his brand updated about market conditions, diamonds availability and prices.
Roberto Coin, whose exquisite jewellery pieces are sold in luxury retail stores around the world, says the quality of diamonds must be assured for the jewellery buyer.
“It is essential as quality must be guaranteed to the consumer and, considering that I am on the board of directors of the World Diamond Council, I consider traceability as a must,” he says.To Ian Free, Senior Jeweller at Australian brand Calleija Jewellers, the attraction of ADTF is in sourcing the right cuts from a huge selection of gemstones.
“Since the majority of our pieces are handmade one-off creations, or bespoke for a client, selecting the right stones is important,” Free said.Calleija Jewellers, best known for their pink diamonds, which are often used in combination with white diamonds, have a boutique just off Old Bond Street in London, as well as stores in Australia.
“While we are an established brand in Australia, we have only been in the London market for a little over 5 years so having the right suppliers close at hand is essential to the success of our London store,” Free said.
He said Calleija bought diamonds from ADTF suppliers in the weeks following his visit to the fair in 2011 – a 5-carat cushion, and some calibrated melee.
ADTF benefited Calleija by giving it the opportunity to build relationships with a variety of Antwerp suppliers.The Antwerp fair presents a wide availability and high quality of stones direct from manufacturers of polished goods which have an established presence in the industry.
“Reputation and trust are precious commodities, particularly in the jewellery industry,” Free said.
“Dealing with companies whose reputations are longstanding, helps us in our dealings with our clients.”
Independent retail jeweller Michael Platt, located in Wimbledon Village in London, boosted its diamonds stock at ADTF in 2013, and has since followed up with business contacts established at the fair.
“We purchased brilliant cut diamonds only,” owner and designer-maker Wayne Myers said.
“There was an amazing choice of diamonds all under one roof — we had never visited Antwerp before and this gave us a fantastic opportunity to meet existing suppliers directly when previously we had been dealing over the telephone.”
“We were able to meet new and existing suppliers and visually assess qualities between different suppliers,” Myers said.
He said that the diamonds purchased at ADTF bolstered stocks that Michael Platt, a specialist in bespoke jewellery, uses all year round.
The London jeweller has also followed up on business relationships established during Myers’s visit to ADTF.
“We gave out a lot of cards,” Myers said. “Some companies have followed up with us. I saw one company last week that we met there. They’ve been to see me.”
Myers sees several advantages for UK retailers of doing business at ADTF, such as rapid delivery times of diamonds from Antwerp (one to two days), the absence of duty as Antwerp is part of the EU, and the city’s convenient location.
“It’s great that Antwerp is so near to the UK – a huge proportion of the world’s diamonds are traded through Antwerp, with traders from all over the world represented in Antwerp,” he said.
Rachel Galley, Design Director of Rachel Galley Jewellery Design Ltd, is a high-profile UK-based designer. Her trip to ADTF in 2013 was a valuable opportunity to source diamonds for a new jewellery range.
“I was at the time starting to design a range using diamonds and precious stones, so the Antwerp diamond fair was perfect for me to go and see if I could get some inspiration from the beautiful stones and meet a potential supplier for the stones to use within the collection,” Rachel said.
“I didn’t think I’d see such rare and large stones but there were some absolutely incredible stones there.
“It was very good to get to the niche and detail as each supplier had its own speciality, for example fancy cuts.”
Rachel says the benefits of sourcing diamonds from the Antwerp trade, are that the quality is guaranteed, the knowledge and competition is second to none, and one can build a great relationship with suppliers who are easily accessible.
Rachel said she wanted the highest quality possible and reliable supply.
“I want proven ethical source and also to be able to do bespoke makes,” she said.
Rachel made some valuable contacts.
“I did have some great conversations and even got a tour of Tache’s offices in Antwerp.
“I got to see the raw material, the cutting and sorting rooms and the business end too. It was fascinating!”
Retailers who visit Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair benefit from a great choice of diamonds and suppliers, says Vanessa Burkitt, owner and managing director of Catherine Jones Jewellery.
“I found a number of potential suppliers and have since started trading with contacts there,” said Vanessa, whose shop is located in Cambridge, UK.
“Customers enjoy hearing stories of my visit to Antwerp and the conversations I have with suppliers. I am able to show customers stones I have sourced from there so they are more engaged in the experience of creating their very own ring.
“They are also intrigued to hear of how Antwerp works as a unique diamond trading centre, which adds another dimension.”
There is an array of dealers in polished goods in Antwerp offering a stunning selection of stones.
“I am currently making an important ring for a customer with a number of D/E colour, IF clarity, Princess Cut stones and a dazzling number of brilliants,” she said.
“The hunt for a sufficient choice of equally proportioned Princess Cuts of the right grade was made significantly less of a headache with the choice of suppliers in Antwerp.“