190513 jewels
Buyers and investors have a right to expect optimum transparency on authenticity and pricing. Image Credit: Nilima Pathak/Gulf News

We have all heard the phrase: ‘A diamond Is forever’. While Frances Gerety’s iconic tagline symbolizes lifelong friendship, commitment and steadfast love, in the present context, the phrase signifies the interest by shoppers in high-end gemstones and diamond jewellery.

In several countries, investment in jewellery has been an age-old practice. One would expect the COVID-19 crisis to change all that - but even against the backdrop of the pandemic, we have seen the voracious appetite of shoppers in no way being satiated. Over the past year, global jewellery sales have been on the rise with investors. This trend is set to continue over the next five years according to a report by McKinsey & Company, which forecasts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8-12 per cent from 2019-25.

A time to reimagine

Speaking of the UAE, we can say the country is home to a world of precious jewels and opulent ornaments and have earned a reputation for being crafted meticulously. It is no secret that we are witnessing a radical redesign in consumer behaviour brought about by the pandemic. As people experienced isolation months on end, they naturally gravitated towards online shopping. However, at an emotional level, people everywhere understood the true value of relationships and the need to express feelings with something that lasts forever.

This need to create a lasting connection, more than ever before, forced retailers, especially in the jewellery space, to go back and find solutions and offer customers a new-age experience. From creating digital-first content, establishing secure e-commerce platforms and adopting a diverse set of sales strategies, jewellery sellers have gone that extra mile.

However, this begs the question: How can shoppers make investing in jewellery worth their while?

Blind to the eye differences

Beyond the aesthetics, fashion trends and physical components, the most important factor to look out for is quality and credibility. Misinterpretation of colour and clarity has often cost the buyer a good 15-35 per cent more than the actual value of the stones. For example, a single grade difference in diamond colour can increase prices between 5-15 per cent, whereas a single grade difference in clarity can bump prices by 10-20 per cent.

This alarming difference spells the need for customers to consider buying jewellery that is hallmarked and certified by reputable institutions as the starting point for investing in diamonds. The IGI primarily specializes in creating independent reports on diamond grading identification and appraisal and authentication. By authenticating stones and jewels for retailers, we provide customers with authentic specifications that assure them of quality and future re-sale.

Another key consideration should be around sourcing. Given the environmental devastation and the issues around human rights in the mining industry, caused by poor planning and weak regulation, there is a definite need to look into the provenance of stones. In a similar context, investors must opt to buy from companies actively involved in sustainable jewelery manufacturing—as conscious purchasing decisions can not only positively impact the environment but ensure that your investment is sound.

While it is clear that the face of the jewellery market is changing and reimagining investments in this space can be challenging, the good news is interested buyers are spoilt for choice—be it through online platforms, private auctions or the UAE’s thriving ‘pre-loved’ market. All that needs to be done is exploring the options available and identifying what is best suited to individual needs—because, as they say, there is always something for everyone.