The show is an exciting retail-consumer jewellery initiative by The Jewellery Council of South Africa (JCSA) and will be held over Black Friday’s 2022 weekend on Saturday, 26 and Sunday, 27 November, in the Ballroom at Montecasino.
As a well-established member of The Jewellery Council of South Africa, we support the important work undertaken by JCSA to support our industry. We caught up with Lorna Lloyd, CEO of JCSA, to find out more about the responsibilities of the council and to get her take on ShopJewellex 2022.
ShopJewellex is the first-ever retail show to be hosted by the JCSA. How did that come about?
The JCSA has been hosting a trade exhibition for over 45 years. Our members have been asking us to host a retail show for many years, and post-Covid, we took a decision to turn that idea into reality.
In your opinion, what will make this show different?
As this is our first-ever retail show, we are excited to give the public a different shopping experience. Visitors will be able to buy a variety of jewellery and other luxury products at fantastic prices, all under one roof.
What can ticket holders look forward to?
ShopJewellex shoppers will receive a terrific free jewellery magazine in a De Beers branded carrier bag; an automatic entry into the “diamond draw” where two diamonds can be won; fantastic opportunities to win prizes in lucky draws throughout the day including weekends away with City Lodge, and much, much more. Our exhibitors will be offering beautiful, unique hand-crafted jewellery, watches, pens chains, coins, gold and silver bars, diamond jewellery ear-piercing and many more selections.
JCSA supports the industry across the continent - will there be international exhibitors at this year’s show?
This show will be Proudly South African and boast some unique homegrown design talent. We do recognise opportunities across our continent and hope to include our skilful and artistic neighbours next time.
As the established industry body in South Africa - do you have relationships with other global jewellery councils - and what type of initiatives are you pioneering?
The Jewellery Council has many international collaborations, including Jewelers of America; CIBJO, which is the Confederation of International Jewellery Organisations worldwide; The World Federation of Diamond Bourses; International Diamond Council, The Responsible Jewellery Council which looks after international certifications and The British Jewellers Association. We confer on international standards, shared challenges, product knowledge, and international rules passed. The JCSA is in touch with what is happening globally.
What can the local industry learn from the international jewellery industry? Or is RSA the trailblazer?
The SA jewellery industry continually learns from the international market.
Some areas where knowledge exchanges take place include best business practices, jewellery industry standards, diamond grading standards, nomenclature (terminology) for diamonds, coloured gemstones, pearls, precious metals, caratages (the measurement of the purity of gold) etc.
One of the council’s objectives is to support the growth and prosperity of the local industry. Can you identify some of the biggest challenges the South African industry is facing - and tell us about some of the potential advances you foresee for the industry?
The local industry has a tough assignment with currency fluctuations, the impact of Covid-19, cost and supply of electricity, limited access to financing and government incentives, skills shortage and high cost of labour, limited routes to local markets, complexity and cost of exporting, slow transit to modern technology, jewellery beneficiation of gold and PGM ( Platinum Group Metal) decreased and a decrease in exports.
In a recent study compiled by Ernst and Young, five strategic pillars have been developed to address current challenges and accelerate growth in the SA jewellery manufacturing industry which are:
Improve training & skills development programmes
Enhance access to financing & incentives
Develop a “one-stop shop” for support services
Ease regulatory, tax & export burdens
Enhance routes to market locally & globally
Would you say that the challenges are similar to those faced in other markets?
There are some challenges similar to those faced with international markets.
The one challenge that many other markets don’t face, which stands out, is the legislative requirements that are faced by SA jewellers due to mining which takes place here.
Technology has changed every aspect of our lives - and continues to push boundaries. How have new technologies affected the industry?
The SA jewellery industry has experienced a slow transition to modern technology. Machinery and equipment need to be imported, and the Rand is weak, making it very expensive to import.
Explain why belonging to the JCSA is important - for industry members.
Jewellery Council of South Africa members are expected to adhere to a Code of Ethics and Conduct, which requires them to conduct their business on a correct and ethical basis. The Council’s role is not to prescribe to our jewellers how to conduct their business but rather to set a level of standards within the industry to which all participants are proud to subscribe.
Outline why consumers should support JCSA members - the benefits of dealing with JCSA members.
The Council encourages consumers to deal with its members who, through their membership, have indicated their commitment to maintaining the highest standards in their business. Membership of the Council is voluntary; therefore, it cannot become legally involved in any dispute; the Council does, however, assist, in a mediatory role, in bringing about successful resolutions to disputes that may arise between our member jewellers and consumers.
Consumer Education is important - especially in a luxury industry where buyers are often spending considerable sums - what are some of the misconceptions you and your team have to unpack for the public?
The JCSA has developed a Consumer Education Brochure which educates the consumer on products and services offered by our members. There can be gaps in consumer knowledge. For instance, understanding the metals which make up their jewellery items. Some metals may tarnish. Another example to consider is that of precious stones and gems. For instance, some are soft and should rather be worn as a pendant or earrings rather than in a ring. Consumers also need to understand that jewellery needs to be ‘serviced’ annually. An example is that a stone may fall out of a setting eventually. Over time, jewellery will wear.
In her role as CEO, Lorna is all business. But we couldn’t resist asking her these “sparklers” to get to know more about the woman behind the title and all the responsibility that brings.
Jewellery has always been an emotional purchase, but it seems people are keener than ever on saying who they are, with combinations of zodiac signs, birthstones and initials sprinkled liberally across our necks, ears and fingers.
What is your star sign and birthstone?
I’m born in October, and I have two spectacular birthstones, opal and tourmaline. Both these birthstones have endless colour combinations and beautiful colouring characteristics.
Do you wear birthstone jewellery?
I have a ring set with a stunning opal which I wear proudly!
It’s a dream come true - you get a day in:
NYC to visit Tiffany’s
Paris to visit Van Cleef and Arpels
London to visit Garrard, the oldest jewellery house in the world
Which one would you pick and why?
What would you pick up if the budget was no object?
Like Tiffany’s ads say, ‘There are diamonds, and there are Tiffany diamonds!
I will take the Alternating Platinum and Diamond Ring valued at $US 18 500.
Tiffany Victoria uses a unique combination of cuts for a distinctly romantic sensibility. The feminine arrangement of this ring is the embodiment of subtle glamour.
“The pearl is the queen of gems and the gem of Queens” ( Grace Kelley) What do you think?
I absolutely love pearls. They are beautiful and will never go out of fashion.
Vintage jewellery is popular - do you have a favourite period - Victorian, Edwardian, Art deco etc. - and why?
I choose Art Deco jewellery which is borrowed heavily from architecture, with bold, geometric patterns. Of course, if it’s set with beautiful diamonds, it becomes an intricate jaw-dropping piece
Engagement rings are always a hot topic - can you tell us about a couple of trends - different coloured stones, vintage, upcycled etc.?
Rings with one-centre diamonds have always been the most popular style for engagement rings, from a solitaire which is an ageless all-time classic to oval shapes and, of course, the marquise, which is the ultimate in elegance. Gemstone engagement rings are among the brightest engagement ring trends of 2023. Sapphires, emeralds, and rubies are among the favourites in the newest gemstone engagement ring collections. Gorgeous diamond and gemstone halo rings are perfect for a standout bride
Every woman needs the following in her jewellery box?
A set of diamond studs.
The watch market has exploded - George Clooney represented OMEGA, Roger Federer represents ROLEX, and Leonardo DiCaprio is a TAG Heuer ambassador…who is taking you to the ball and why?
Definitely, George Clooney, as I’m an Omega fan, but give me any brand name watch, and I’m there.
Social media is a great showcase for jewellery - what are your top 3 platforms to follow?
Instagram is on top of my list, followed by Facebook and Linked In.
Are you team gold or silver? What do you think of the mixed metals trend?
I love white gold, although I have a few gold items. Mixed metals have a place in the market, but not for me
It’s your lucky day - you get to choose one statement piece - what’s it going to be - necklace, earrings, bracelet - and what will your design look like?
I choose a necklace which is a 2cm thick choker showing off diamonds all around my neck