Indo Argyle Diamond Council to Close

The Indo Argyle Diamond Council will close in December after 15 years in operation, according to a statement Tuesday by MVI Marketing, which owns the program.

The statement from MVI reads as follows:

“It is with gratification that we announce the closure of the extremely successful Indo Argyle Diamond Council (IADC) program at the conclusion of its 15th year in December 2008,” says Marty Hurwitz, CEO of MVI Marketing Ltd., the owners of the IADC.

The IADC, a by-invitation-only, paid membership program, has accomplished all its goals leading to its triumphant conclusion. This program raised the U.S. market’s level of awareness about the tremendous jewelry manufacturing capabilities of India and its ability to manufacture high-quality, sellable diamond jewelry to reach price points from the high-end to mass market. The members of the Indo Argyle Diamond Council have proven, beyond a doubt, they can supply major U.S. retailers with the most sellable diamond jewelry products in history through their ingenuity, focus, high ethics, design and sales ability.

“15 years ago when we developed the concept for the IADC, at the urging of Argyle Diamonds, later to become Rio Tinto Diamonds, we had a vision for the future of this industry and that vision has become a reality. Initial sponsorship of the program by Rio Tinto Diamonds enabled the program to come into existence and their continuing sponsorship and support helped keep the IADC on target for these many years.

We are very grateful that they shared our vision and give us terrific marketing managers to work with including Andrew Wagstaff and, more recently, Nirupa Bhatt,” states Hurwitz.

“We applaud all current and past IADC members on their commitment to the program and U.S. retail jewelers. This commitment has resulted in the ability of the U.S. consumer to buy diamond jewelry at any price point,” said Liz Chatelain, president of MVI Marketing, who adds, “We are also grateful for the tremendous leadership of the program directors, previously Johanna Trotter, and most recently the dynamic team of Keith Dillmeier and Manny Reboredo. Their leadership over the years has enabled members to develop the product, knowledge and ability to sell any U.S. retailer they desire.”

Over its 15 year history, the IADC had about 65 members, many of whom spent between 4 to 10 years in the program. One of the most significant signs of the program’s success has been the tremendous increase of jewelry exports from India to North America. The amount of finished jewelry has gone from around US$300 million in 1994 to US$2.3 billion in 2007.

An important part of the program was to introduce and secure appointments between IADC members and major North American retailers. This was accomplished more than 3,060 times leading to every major retailer now purchasing directly from Indian manufactures. Some of these appointments took place in India during IADC sponsored buying trips with the IADC management team.

From the beginning of the IADC, many major retailers showed a desire to better understand the global diamond mining, cutting and jewelry manufacturing situation. We were able to bring this information to them in a complete and open manner through the IADC Diamond Market Overview presentations conducted in retailer’s corporate offices by IADC management. The goal of this service was to help retailers make informed decisions about how to source their product closer to prime manufactures and therefore, reap better margins.

“We are proud of the IADC’s success and how it improved the industry by shortening the product development ‘pipeline’ to consumers all over North America, enabling them to purchase more diamond jewelry at every price point,” concludes Marty Hurwitz.