Why am I a member of the Diamond Dealers Club of Australia?

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The following article was recently published in the Jewellers Trade Magazine

I had intentions of writing a very different article this month, however in light of the launch of our new website and the exciting goals that the DDCA plan to achieve for our members, I felt it appropriate to share with you why I am a member of this club and in particular, what it means in the world of diamonds, and for me personally.

Many of you may have received emails from the club announcing a new website, and in particular having Tamara Gabay brought on as General Manager. Having someone who has been exposed to the international diamond community will definitely help members better understand the interconnected nature of our industry.

The new website we have created is targeting two different segments. The first is the traditional diamond dealer in Australia. We understand that the local diamond dealer has to deal with trade shows, RAPNET, IDEX, international dealers’ websites, and the odd merchant flying in from overseas, trying to dump goods.

The issue is what can, and does, the local diamond dealer provide you with and what can we do as a club to protect this local interest? Let’s not be naïve. Retailers need dealers and visa versa. No retailer nor wholesaler can carry everything and (in particular) for a retailer to be able to access goods within 24 hours is the difference between the make or break of the big sale.

To this end the club has demanded that all the merchants who want to become a member of the DDCA have a business set up and offices in Australia. Above all else when they list their goods on the new diamond trading portal they must have these goods in country. Yes there are times when you will pay more for these diamonds than the price listed on a foreign website, but you didn’t have to put up the money upfront to bring the stone in, nor demand your customer pays upfront before you can even show it to them.

The diamond trading portal is simply about connecting wholesalers to retailers, it’s about giving you choices, it’s about giving you a price guide of diamonds in Australia. Specifically for the diamond wholesaler, it’s about connecting them to small and often under the radar jewellery workshops that they may never have known existed nor had a chance to get to.

Our portal will have a rating system built in by the time this article is published. This means that both the merchant and the retailer will be able to rate each other and their standards of service. For a wholesaler, in time this will mean that when a new retailer makes a request to see a stone – from someone they haven’t ever dealt with, but they see a five diamond rating for this business – they could be very confident that this is an excellent referral, and could work quickly with this new jeweller to secure a sale. For the retailer, or a young and up-and-coming bench jeweller, they could build an excellent reputation in the trade by paying their bills on time and showing their professionalism to unknown merchants. This could be the difference between having two or three merchants happy to send them a couple of larger stones to show customers.

For the retailer the DDCA is about us promoting the retailer to the consumer, in terms of them being a person of integrity. How impressive is it being a member the International Diamond Organisation, the WFDB .
The DDCA is investing heavily in a social media programme to raise the profile of the club in the eyes of consumers. Every retail member will be given a space on the front page of the site to promote themselves and a link to their website.

As many of you know last year we held – in conjunction with the Gemmological Association, The Jewellery Association and the Valuers Association – a presentation about synthetic diamonds. We are determined to present programmes in a similar vein once or twice a year to bring members of the industry together; to open a line of communication and to see how we can all increase our sales in the luxury market.

However, doing all these things means sacrifice, time and even some money. Being able to have a conversation with a jeweller from another region, ask questions from someone who experiences the same issues and problems that you do, but isn’t competing with you directly. Just a couple of helpful tips or pointers on who they use, how they overcome an issue – it’s all so helpful when you can speak to a colleague who really understands the pressures you are faced with day to day.

There are numerous other benefits that the club will bring, but let me share some of my experiences to date.

Since I began participating in the DDCA, I have met and become friends with diamond dealers in 30 Clubs around the world, invited to the USA, Thailand, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, Antwerp Dubai, Turkey, Singapore, London, Russia and China and some, multiple times. Dinned with CEO’S of the biggest diamond mines in the world and visited cutting factories with thousands of employees. Entered diamond dealers worlds where hundreds of millions of dollars of goods were at my fingertips. Pinching myself when I have participated in discussions on fair trade and banking regulations which could change the face of how diamonds are traded worldwide. The highlight of it all is being instrumental in the launching of the World Diamond Mark, a generic marketing program for diamonds.
(More about that later)

I could go on and on about the incredible private tours, the entry into rarefied spaces where so few have ever been invited.

However at the end of the day it’s about the people, the different cultures, the camaraderie and the ability to be exposed to what the world has to offer.
Yes I do this travel at my expense, but who wouldn’t?
Since I was elected to the executive board of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses I have invested hundreds of hours willingly, contributing ideas and participating in discussions which improve the conditions for all in the trade, but I am one of a number who have done so for years and continue to do so.

I consider it an honour and a privilege to do so, and I am the first to admit, it is so inspiring to participate. I consider myself so fortunate.

We all get caught up in day to day life. Business is hard and seems to be getting harder. The only solution I see is that one needs support and inspiration. What better way to gain this than being a member of our club? With nearly 20,000 members worldwide and the ability to learn about the next big thing before it hits the market, I would recommend you to visit our website, ddca.org.au and contact Tamara to know more.

I personally invite you to become a member of the DDCA and together lets ignite the Australian Diamond Jewellery industry; we all know we live in the best place in the world… let’s make it even better.

Trade well.

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