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De Beers has been instrumental in the growing acceptability for diamond jewellery in South India

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Mr Gopi from Manepally Jewellers, Telangana, has four showrooms and is coming up with three more in the state. A potential reason for his untarnished growth is strong diamond sales. Talking about how De Beers has played a huge role in the diamond growth story, he gets candid with Samit Bhatta, publisher, The Retail Jeweller India Magazine, about his expectations from the De Beers Forum.

You have been a progressive jeweller in Telangana and have been associated with both De Beers Forevermark and their Code of Origin programmes. How are both doing?

We need to thank De Beers for the beautiful Forevermark and Code of Origins concepts. India has one of the biggest mandates in diamond jewellery. The south has a quality mandate in diamond jewellery. Here, even if consumers want to go with a small carat jewellery, they want the highest grade. Before De Beers, there was a lot of lapse and issues with diamond jewellery here. But once De Beers entered the market with these programmes, it has been revolutionary. De Beers Forevermark not only provides a certificate with the diamond, but has a unique number engraved on the diamond itself, where the customer gets assurance and peace of mind. It has been a great success and in our two years of association, we have seen great growth and returns. Later, with the Code of Origin, the diamonds got an even higher grade of certification. It is an international standard of grading, and that is why it is so acceptable.

De Beers is celebrating the 75th year of its “A diamond is forever” tagline. With that, they are also bringing their Forum in Mumbai this month. What are you looking forward to?

We don’t just look for products in a forum like this, but also new concepts that are being brought into the market. These range from design to manufacturing. There are a lot of aspects that come to mind, like the working styles and operational capabilities we can learn about. This is important because the last five years have seen a sea change in the diamond trade. Before, diamond jewellery constituted for only 5-15% of the sales. The rest was gold, especially in South India. Today, in cities like Hyderabad, we see vigorous acceptability for diamonds with 40% sales in the total business share. This is positive for diamonds, which has only become possible because we have been able to deliver quality products to customers. The Code of Origin has been a gamechanger in this regard and we hope to see the positivity around diamonds growing.

In every forum we see new companies coming forward with new concepts that are helpful to the jewellery trade. We should encourage this. Two years back, I spoke at the forum about how the Forevermark brand has helped us sell a lot more of diamonds.

Have you seen the diamond sales going up in the last few years specially because of the De Beers campaign in India?

You can say that. De Beers has ushered in an awareness about diamond jewellery as a whole in customers. Today, they feel a lot more comfortable parking their money in diamonds because of quality products backed by international certification. The Code of Origin helps the customer put more trust in the jeweller and they can rest assured. We see very few companies providing standard certifications today. In this regard, Code of Origin is a great programme.

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller India News

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