Last year an internally flawless 12.03-carat fancy vivid blue diamond, later named “Blue Moon of Josephine,” set the record for the highest price ever paid for a diamond at $48.5 million. This April, Sotheby’s will feature 2 more important blue diamonds at their Magnificent Jewels & Jadeite auction in Hong Kong. The De Beers Millennium Jewel 4, a 10.10 carat Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Blue is estimated to sell at $35 Million. A 9.54 carat Fancy Deep Blue diamond owned by child movie star Shirley Temple is expected to bring $25-35 million.
Record-breaking auction prices on fine gems and jewellery always make the news, but what effect does this have on a typical retail jewellery store? Let’s face it, very few people in the jewellery business will ever have the opportunity to be in the same room with these magnificent jewels let alone buy, sell, or own them. They are in a category beyond mere gems and jewellery. They are the rarest of the rare, destined for collections that may include Picassos, Van Goghs, and other one-of-a-kind objects of art and beauty. Most retail jewellers don’t have billionaires shopping for rare gems. But there are ways for jewellers to benefit from these auctions.
Ride the wave
Record auction results create a wave of excitement . The spectacular items and prices are newsworthy. You’ll see everything from one or two line mentions to full page print stories and prime-time television coverage. You can ride this wave of media attention. Have copies of articles and photos of the record-setting gems on your sales counters. They will help build your customer’s interest and desires for jewellery. They also give you a conversation opener. Ask your customers what they think of the jewels. Would they wear them if they could? Ride the wave of excitement and intrigue.
Articles and videos covering record-breaking auctions are perfect for sharing on your own social media accounts. Right now there are dozens of articles being shared on the 2 blue diamonds coming up in April. You can stretch the benefits for a few weeks by sharing the pre-auction excitement and the final results. Encourage and participate in comments and discussions. You want your customers to follow the story with you. If you have your own website, it might be good to add a page on jewellery news. You can feature auction results or any other newsworthy articles to keep your customers informed and excited about fine jewellery. If you have a blog, high dollar auctions are always a good topic. Featuring an auction in your blog is great, having an opinion is even better.
Obviously, you are not going to fill your showcases with multi-million dollar items but you can recreate the look at more affordable price-points. Copies of Shirley Temple’s Blue Diamond ring could be made with Blue Topaz. Use the auction to generate interest in blue or other fancy coloured diamonds. Have a selection of irradiated blue diamonds available so your customer’s can have a blue diamond at a price they can afford.
Keep up to date with auction offerings and results. This next auction has 2 important blue diamonds but the auction after that may have an incredible Fancy Pink diamond or a fine, large Burmese Ruby. If you stay informed, you can always be one step ahead in your marketing tie-ins. Not only will you be able to ride the wave of excitement, you will position yourself as an expert spokesman for fine, luxury jewellery.