Even though they may induce skepticism in some people, brands are one of the most interesting drivers of the economy. Through marketing campaigns and corporate imaging, companies can establish an interesting form of communication with consumers.
With branding as a marketing channel, companies can easily transmit what they represent and build better awareness of their values. On the other hand, consumers can use branding to help differentiate between companies and select the product that fits their individual needs.
It would be very convenient if diamonds could be branded. However, branding usually works when it is applied to individuals, service providers or products involving a lot of human factors. When it comes to natural resources like oil and gold, the features that uniquely identify commodities becomes a much tougher subject.
Diamond is a natural resource which doesn’t need complex processing to achieve an end product. Apart from qualitative selection and skilled polishing, there’s really not much variances when we look at things in the granular level.
Let us take a look at some basic perspectives which could be applied to marketing diamond jewelry in greater details.
You are probably no stranger to this phenomenon. Some of the larger jewelry distributors usually define the diamonds they sell as their own brand. If we think logically, the maximum value that could be derived from these massive chains lies in their reputation, service and ultimately, in the box in which they package your purchase.
Diamonds are still diamonds. They are still made up of Carbon atoms no matter who sells them and it is what they really are. In my humble opinion, a brand should denote something unique to the product and not to who is selling the product.
The best analogy to describe this can be akin to buying a pack of Ruffles potato chips from the supermarket. Just because Walmart sells Ruffles potato chips doesn’t mean that the pack of chips can now be labeled as Walmart’s chips.
Since we are talking about diamond branding, one reasonable idea is to brand the individual diamonds to the cutter who polished them. This would be an interesting approach since it differentiates the diamonds based on the only real human factor which affects their final quality and value.
For example, Brian Gavin uses his own name to label his signature line of diamonds. Since each signature diamond is carefully crafted and selected, Brian Gavin’s branding is often associated with high quality and precision cut diamonds. Another person whom I have high regards for in the industry is Gabriel S. Tolkowsky (Gabi) and his signature line of Gabrielle Diamonds.
Since the majority of diamond cutting is performed by large scale sweatshops and factories in developing countries like India, it doesn’t make sense to “show-off” the manufacturing process to your clientele who are buying high-end luxury products. This is one of the reasons why cutter-based branding has not become ubiquitous. Try this for yourself the next time you are in a jewelry store that makes use of fanciful name branding.
Ask them who cut the diamonds and if they weren’t cut by the business themselves, how is this related to their store’s branding. Usually, you won’t even be told who cut the stone unless it was performed by one of the prestigious men of the industry.
There are few main cartels which control the entire market of rough diamonds. The biggest of these is De Beers, which used to control 90% of the market back in the 20th century.
With changing fortunes, their market share had dropped significantly after new sources of diamond mines were discovered. Even so, DeBeers still commands about 60% of the current rough diamond market today.
Usually when we buy a product, we do not care who sold the raw material to the factory. You probably don’t care who mines or transports the silicon to the chip factory your laptop was produced in. In fact, you only care about the production quality of the factory and that your laptop will function without problems, right?
This might be one of the most obscure attributes in the entire industry, but if there is any kind of branding present, it is usually related to the distributing cartel, like De Beers.
However in most cases, diamonds are not and cannot be branded. So when anyone is trying to sell you a “prestigious” stone just because it carries a certain “brand” name, it is time to put on your skepticism glasses and pay attention to what they are saying. Doing so will prevent you from getting tricked into some weird business lingo and avoid getting ripped off by paying an unnecessary premium.
88 Cut – Shaped in an octagon, the 88 facets diamond is an innovative special line created by Finesse Diamonds. As a Chinese, I can tell you that the number 8 represents luck and wealth in our culture. If Finesse Diamonds start marketing their stones in Hong Kong and Asia aggressively, they might just hit the jack pot.
Eighternity – This cutting design consists of 81 precisely placed facets to capture and reflect light. The company behind this special cut is K.R. Gems & Diamonds International.
Leo Diamond – This is perhaps one of the most over hyped diamond cut which I have a personal distaste for. The Leo Diamond boosts that its patented 66 facets cutting style results in better dispersion, brilliance and sparkle. I disagree. Having seen many of these stones in person, I can tell you these diamond have an inconsistent cut standard and very poor quality control.
Star 129 – As the name suggests, Star 129 diamonds are cut with 129 facets. Now, let me put the record straight that more facets do not equate to a better looking stone. They may claim to be the most spectacular diamond on Earth, but what really matters is your opinion on it and not theirs.
Royal Asscher – The official website and original creators of the Asscher cut. Royal Asschers are great looking stones that rightfully deserve their name and association with royalty. Unlike the bulk of Asscher cut diamonds which are cut to dismal standards, Royal Asschers are true pieces of art and precision craftsmanship.
For more information on designer and jewelry stores, you might want to check out https://designerjewelrybrands.com. I know there are probably a lot more branded diamonds with fanciful names and unique cutting styles that weren’t mentioned here. If you have any to suggest and add to the list above, feel free to drop me an email or leave a comment below.