Moussaieff Jewellers, which has boutiques on Bond Street, London’s high jewellery quarter, and in the Hilton Park Lane, has seen increased demand for jewellery suites, also statement earrings in white diamonds and coloured gemstones. Asian customers are boosting enquiries, Resident Gemmologist Tamara Moussaieff tells David Brough.
What types of Moussaieff jewellery are outperforming in sales?
In the white diamond range, we are seeing an increased demand for I colour stones in VS and SI clarity. The reason is that I colour still has no visible trace of yellow to the eye with a price tag well below the super white DEF range. We find that budget-minded clients seem more willing to compromise on clarity – they are happy to accept the cheaper SI option as long as it is not visible to the naked eye. We also find secondary colours such as brown and grey gaining in popularity. In high jewellery, demand for formal suites such as weddings has increased both in white diamonds and coloured gemstones with the emphasis on large statement earrings. Those may contain either ruby, emerald and sapphire or recently even vibrant Paraiba tourmalines (see brooch image below) – or even amethyst. More whimsical designs are becoming “de rigueur”.
How are Moussaieff jewellery designs changing in the current period?
The designs are more oriented towards the tastes of the younger crowd with the subjects rendered in a more whimsical manner such as our butterfly (see image).
The young also seem to like straight geometric patterns when incorporated into an exquisite Avant Garde design (see image of ruby earrings). The older generation like traditional designs with good quality stones while the young put the emphasis on the “modern feel” of the design.
How has the pandemic affected tastes and demand for Moussaieff jewellery? Are you seeing any regional changes across the world, e.g. increasing demand in Asia?
Asia has picked up substantially due to the pandemic as people are spending more time at home, with tastes growing for design geared towards Asian aesthetics. Our Instagram has proved a very positive tool. Our Asian clients have remained loyal to us, thanks to the fact that we gear our designs to their particular appetite. Asians are attracted towards Moussaieff’s ability to produce an unusual form incorporating fine quality gemstones. (See picture of kite-shaped Vivid yellow diamond ring).
How are your online sales progressing? Did you see a boost in online sales during the lockdowns when the Moussaieff boutiques in the Hilton Park Lane and on Bond Street were shut? What are your reflections on the strong online auctions performances in high jewellery and gemstones of the leading auction houses during this period?
Online sales increased substantially during the lockdowns. Our discerning clientele had more time at their disposal which they used to familiarise themselves with the wide range of our latest designs, and diamonds in all shapes and many colours.
Thanks to very advanced photography techniques, clients can incorporate their individual sense of aesthetic into our existing design to ensure complete satisfaction.
We work closely with them on the details of the colour scheme, so the perfect end product is always the result of a joint effort.
During the lockdowns there seemed indeed to be a proliferation of online jewellery auctions.
We think this can work to the advantage of a prospective buyer in the low to medium price range. There is a really wide diversity of period pieces, and the designs are all- encompassing.
And auction houses have experts who would give information on any details required.
In the high and super high price range, however, we do not advise online sales.
The reason is that even with highly accurate, honest descriptions, the eye contact, physical proximity, and the feel, are absolutely crucial.
Certain close details simply cannot be captured on camera, while passion for an object and sensitivity to the energy that it generates cannot be aroused far away.
In the highest category we feel that face to face contact with a trusted expert adviser and getting the “feel” of the object is crucial.
What is your perception of the quality of diamonds and coloured gemstones manufactured and cut in India, in centres such as Surat and Jaipur? Have you seen an improvement in quality over time?
Over the last five or 10 years, we have watched as the Indian industry has developed its stone-cutting techniques.
The cutting of diamonds is now in line with places like Antwerp and Tel Aviv with issues such as symmetry, ideal proportion, and cut achieving prominence and top priority in the finished stone.
Indian-manufactured diamonds today have top brilliance. Most definitely there has been an improvement over time.
It seems the decision on the part of the banks in India to finance cutters paid off as it enabled them to set their priorities more on beauty and aesthetics and less on immediate practical money matters.
Does Moussaieff plan to showcase its jewellery again at physical events or exhibitions to be held later this year or next year, such as the London Masterpiece Fair in 2022?
Without doubt the physical has an advantage over the digital when it comes to events and exhibitions.
We love the thrill of the international forum, the camaraderie between exhibitors, the exposure to the “crisscross” influences of many forms of art and artistic schools.
We love the recognition we get through our creations and for sure will endeavour to go for prime space in all available opportunities.