David Kellie, CEO, Natural Diamond Council (NDC) shared his insights on diamond jewellery consumption patterns and planned initiatives in key markets in a presentation to Indian diamantaires on 19th May at the GJEPC office in Mumbai.
With regard to funding challenges, Kellie cautioned that the departure of Alrosa, which accounts for half of NDC’s financial contributions, would not have an impact this year, but would be a challenge going forward into 2023.
Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC said, “NDC, since its inception, has been playing an important role for the global diamond industry, and especially during the last two years, they have been pivotal in ensuring diamond jewellery has top of the mind recall with consumers and I wish they continue to do this great work going forward. GJEPC has and will contribute to NDC’s endeavour to promote diamond jewellery in key markets across world.”
Kellie spoke about the Global Diamond Metaverse as the next evolution of jewellery in the digital world. “Instead of us being 10 years behind the evolution of digital, we need to be at the forefront. We’re working very closely with one of the major platforms, and we’re very excited about where we’re going during the discovery phase. I can assure you that we will be pioneers in these new spaces. This is where the audience is going to be in 10 years’ time, and we’ve got to keep pace with technology.”
Kellie touched upon initiatives for greater retailer engagement in markets such as China, India, Middle East, and the US, as well as the launch of a Diamond Week in New York.
Providing further detail on the regional markets, Richa Singh, Managing Director, India & the Middle East, NDC, revealed that NDC had signed on Malabar as a retail partner in the UAE and planned to start a campaign featuring their own brand ambassador there as soon as the official mourning period for the late President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed was over.
Kellie said that diamond jewellery was seeing a huge cultural moment in the US market, as artists “dripping in diamonds” featured in almost all the major cultural events like the Superbowl halftime show, music award shows like the Grammys, the Oscars, etc. “These are the people that are influencing the US diamond jewellery market more than anyone and these are the people who are buying natural diamond jewellery. We’ve got to get back to being at the forefront of culture, fashion and style,” he explained.
The NDC was working on a programme to give natural diamond manufacturers the rights to use its logo “Only Natural Diamonds” either on business cards or packaging and so on, subject to agreement with its terms and conditions, he said.