What will your competition be selling this year? The diamond jewelry that will be everywhere you look this holiday season, in the flyers, brochures, commercials, and windows of the majors, is being made right now in India.
Modern Jeweler went to the India International Jewelry Show in Mumbai in May to talk to the most important manufacturers about the key items for the holiday season in the U.S.
What will we see from India manufacturers and sightholders this holiday season? In a difficult and uncertain market—with orders from most volume retailers flat or declining and the surging prices of metals and polished diamonds putting pressure on price points—most manufacturers are betting on the power of DTC marketing and the extensions of last year's major trend: circles. That means we will see a lot of circles, a huge selection of "Journey" diamond jewelry designs, and a safe selection of better basics.
"Circles will last and become a basic," says Rajesh Bhansali of Goldiam International. "We are making new high-fashion designs and we want to put that creativity in the stores but people don't want to adopt new ideas." Although Goldiam is an innovative company, which is even testing a palladium collection it is manufacturing in its factory in China, its Journey designs will be bread and butter. "A lot of circles, stick pendants, and dangle earrings," Bhansali says. "Only basics sell at the beginning of a new product promotion."
"We are creating a line of Journey rings, earrings, and pendants from $250 to $750 wholesale," says Anuj Shah of sightholder Supergems. "We research trends in each zone of America so we create a mix of styles, including micro-pavé and pink gold."
It's Journey and circles everywhere I turn here. "Yes, Journey seems to be the buzz word this season and we are pretty confident that it will be as big as the past, present, and future campaign," says Kunal Shah of KBS Designs. "Along with our New York marketing office Sandeep Diamond Corporation, we are channeling a lot of our resources to that area."
Although most companies planned to launch their Journey collections in Las Vegas, at sightholder D. Navinchandra & Co.'s InterJewel, I watched quality inspectors checking an entire shipment of elegantly curved Journey diamond bangles already bound for a U.S. major.
Journey pendant from Tara Jewels, firstname.lastname@example.org.