Dubai: With gold prices holding steady at $1,970 an ounce plus, UAE’s jewellery retailers are making a strong case to get more shoppers thinking of diamonds. Recent promotions from leading jewellery houses have focussed on cutting making charges on diamond jewellery, while there are also plans to elevate diamonds to the same status the yellow metal enjoys in the ‘City of Gold’.
And more retailers are throwing lab-grown diamonds into the mix. Many of them made the exploratory moves in gauging shopper interest in lab-made diamonds last year, and now these are being brought to market as full-fledged collections.
Siroya Jewellers is one of them, and is backing it up with the ‘Evermore’ brand that will initially be sold through six boutique stores, here and in Bahrain and the UK. These are priced from Dh2,000 to Dh100,000 and over.
“Our initial stock (of lab diamonds) sold out - so we are surpassing initial projections and industry benchmarks already,” said Rohan Siroya. “This lab-grown diamond journey of ours began the day we chanced upon the concept.
“Months of research and brand positioning discussion followed, not to mention testing the market by placing products at select retailers to start the conversation late last year. ”The price of mined (or natural) diamonds has skyrocketed due to the shortage in supply of rough diamonds, and the increase in costs of mining. Consumers will have to bear the brunt of the price hike in the short-term.
Still a niche
As of now, only a handful of jewellery retailers are offering the lab-grown diamond options. Everyone realises that shopper interest and awareness still has lots of room to grow. The lab versions are being offered as a slightly lower cost option, and the belief is that with time, more shoppers will be convinced of its merits. Especially when it comes to wearing them as everyday jewellery.
This is the prompt then for Siroya to launch the Evermore brand, which according to him is about giving consumers a “chance to wear larger stones”. “Our designs took two years to develop and is inspired by this region,” he added. “All of our jewellery is made here under the watchful eyes of experts who have over 90 years of combined experience between them.
“With all due respect, we don’t believe diamond jewellery should be discounted, especially if your brand promises superior design and quality. That doesn’t come from cutting corners.”