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Industry News: PGI Offers Custom Training; Basel 2021 Also Canceled; More May 13, 2020 (0 comments)


PGI Offers Custom Facilitated Online Sales Training To All Retailers During COVID-19 Crisis

New York, NY—Platinum Guild International is now offering custom training sessions to retailers across the country, from the safety of their own homes. 

Available immediately, the bespoke training sessions will be created based on each individual retailer’s needs. Topics will range from basic platinum product knowledge, to the importance of platinum crowns, to consumer product activation and transforming the customer experience. PGI-USA will even offer a segment that is geared specifically towards bench jewelers, with the training focusing on quality assurance and the organization’s proprietary, “Benchmarks for Bench Jewelers.” 

The format will generally adhere to a 30-minute interactive tutorial, followed by a 15-minute Q&A period, although they will be catered to fit specific requirements. The Zoom-based sessions can accommodate as many participants as needed. After the trainings, attendees can continue their learning via for additional information.

‘During these unprecedented times, we want to support retailers in any way we can,” explains Kevin Reilly, PGI-USA’s vice president, who normally logs 100,000 miles a year in training jewelers. “We hope by adapting our training programs to a virtual learning experience, we can continue to offer an educational series that can benefit associates by increasing their platinum knowledge, which in turn can be used for in-store or at-home customer assistance.” 

Jenny Luker, PGI-USA president, adds, “We are here to partner with retailers to make the most of these challenging times. We know the way we may service or sell to customers may change, but the knowledge and education associates possess will always be of key importance. Making time for trainings now will yield future sales and successes, no matter how business will be conducted in the future.” 

Retailers that are interested in learning more about the facilitated trainings should contact Kevin Reilly directly at


AGS/DDG Webinar To Address Taking Back The ‘Ethical’ Narrative: How Telling The Natural Diamond Story Will Boost Sales

Las Vegas, NV and New York, NY--An American Gem Society (AGS) webinar in partnership with Diamonds Do Good will help retailers effectively tell the story of the economic and social good that natural diamonds do in their journey from mine to finger. The session will be held next Wednesday, May 20, at 11 a.m. Eastern time.

Natural, ethical diamonds do a lot of good on their journey from mine to finger, but the lab-grown diamond companies have tried to grab the "ethical" narrative away and if jewelers or their employees don’t tell the natural diamond story well, they could be losing sales and profits. 

Today’s consumers demand brands and companies ‘do what’s right,’ according to the latest Edelman Trust Barometer. This is especially true for the new reality we all are facing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Natural diamonds create many jobs and empower the communities where they're mined and cut. This webinar will help you tell the natural diamond story and communicate these positives to consumers, grabbing back the “ethical” narrative from lab-grown diamond companies and inspiring consumers to be part of the relationship between natural diamonds and the communities, governments, businesses, and employees they benefit.

The webinar duration will be 40 minutes total, a 30-minute presentation with 10 minutes for Q&A. Panelists Include: 

Nancy Orem Lyman, Executive Director Diamonds Do Good (formerly Diamond Empowerment Fund) providing a backdrop to the Millennial consumers of today and their need for authentic storytelling. Will wrap up presentation section with an online guide for retailers on reaching consumers with this message.

Marcus ter Haar, Managing Director, Okavango Diamond Company (ODC) speaking on the real impact natural diamonds have had in Botswana, the largest producer of gem quality diamonds in the world. Marcus manages the government-owned ODC with a commitment to ensure the continued beneficiation of this natural resource for the people of Botswana. 

Dov Tannenbaum, Principal, Leo Schachter Diamonds, speaking as the manufacturer of the Kalahari Dream Diamond collection responsibly sourced and giving back to the communities of Southern Africa. Their factory in Molepolole, Botswana, is made up of 85% women from the local community providing needed jobs and income. Leo Schacter teamed up with retailers for special ‘give back’ programs to the community. For instance: Borsheims with a well-building project in a neighboring village provided fresh, clean water for the drought-stricken area; Ben Bridge with a local children’s orphanage; and Long’s Jewelers with a water treatment project benefitting the community. 

Kathy Corey, Owner, Days Jewelers, speaking on today’s retail landscape with COVID-19,  how authentic storytelling online and instore is more important than ever and the responsibility of retailers to make this connection with consumers.

Click here to register.


Baselworld To Cancel January 2021 Event; Refunds 2/3 Of Exhibitor Fees

Basel, Switzerland—MCH, the organizers of the Baselworld Fair, have announced the 2021 fair that was slated for late January has been canceled and the fair’s future overall is still up in the air. And exhibitors will receive two-thirds of their 2020 costs back.

The much-beleaguered Baselworld seemed to have righted its ship and gotten back on course after it moved its dates for 2020 to run back-to-back with the SIHH event in Geneva (now Watches & Wonders). The industry had clamored for the two shows to run together and, after a sharp drop in attendance and the Swatch Group’s decision to drop out, it seemed like Baselworld’s new management was finally listening to its customers

Or not. After the 2020 event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, MCH oddly decided to run the 2021 event in late January, sparking a global uproar and leading to the departure of Rolex, Patek Philippe, LVMH, and the rest of its remaining prestigious watch brands. Moreover, MCH’s original exhibitor refund policies proved its new management was no more customer-centric than its old leadership had been. Its initial plan essentially held exhibitors hostage to the new dates: 85% of their 2020 fees would be applied to 2021 and 15% forfeited to cover the Show’s own costs. The alternative was worse: forfeit 30% to Show management and apply only 40% of 2020 fees to 2021, while receiving a refund of 30%. 

Related: Top-Level Rolex Exec Pushes Back On Baselworld’s Planned January Dates And 2020 Refund Policy

Ultimately, MCH capitulated—sort of. In a letter to exhibitors last week, the organization announced the cancellation of the January 2021 event and said it would return 65% of exhibitors’ 2020 fees. A simultaneous press release said theMCH Group and representatives of the exhibitors called the settlement an “amicable solution drawn up in collaboration with the Swiss Exhibitors’ Committee, unanimously approved by the Comité Consultatif, and also supported by industry associations.”

In other words, it’s a hefty loss but the best anyone is going to get. Even to make that possible, the major watch companies that have since withdrawn from the fair altogether, agreed to receive only 60% of their costs back, so that smaller and less well-funded companies would receive the extra 5%.

Hubert J. du Plessix, the president of the Swiss Exhibitors’ Committee and the director at Rolex who was vocal about his displeasure with MCH’s original plans, gave his blessing to the new refund policy.

"I welcome the constructive attitude of the representatives of the MCH Group, which has enabled us to find a balanced solution," he said in the press statement. "I would also like to thank Patek Philippe, Rolex, Tudor, Chanel, Chopard, Hublot, Zenith and Tag Heuer, who, in a spirit of solidarity with the sector as a whole, have agreed to a lower refund so that the other exhibitors can benefit from better conditions." 

Bernd Stadlwieser, CEO of the MCH Group, added, "We are pleased to have worked together and, in just a short time, found a solution that is acceptable to everyone. In the light of the large loss of revenue due to COVID-19 and our responsibility to all our stakeholder groups, this solution marks the limit of what is possible for us. With the amicable settlement for Baselworld 2020, we can now concentrate fully on the future."

In announcing the decision not to hold Baselworld 2021, Michel Loris-Melikoff, managing director of Baselworld, said, "Together with the exhibitors and visitors, we are working intensively on clarifying and discussing the requirements and options for new platforms. We will be taking a decision on possible follow-up formats by the summer, and will then provide information on the new concept and scheduling."


De Beers Group Auctions Expands Digital Selling Presence

Gaborone, Botswana--De Beers Group’s Auctions business has launched a new program to give its registered buyers access to diamond purchases 24/7. This new selling proposition, known as the Buy platform, is an e-commerce offering where registered buyers can make an immediate, direct, and straightforward purchase from a range of rough diamonds at any time and from anywhere. It provides an additional purchase option in addition to the existing limited-time auctions offering.

The platform offers search, favorites, and filter functions. Goods range from low to high end and prices are visible at point of purchase. Users simply select the products that they want to buy, adding them to a virtual basket before completing the purchase at a virtual checkout. Once the purchase has been completed, users will be directed to an Order confirmation page displaying the details of the order along with a unique order number.

De Beers Group’s Auctions business which sells around 10% of De Beers Group’s rough diamond supply.

Alastair Bickerstaff, head of product development and sales for the auctions, said, “We are constantly seeking additional ways of meeting our customers’ needs in a fast-moving world, and we are excited to launch the Buy platform as it will provide an additional easy-to-access channel for our Registered Buyers to source what they want and when they want. We are especially pleased to introduce this additional flexibility for our Registered Buyers in light of the current COVID-19 situation.”

Learn more at

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