Moissanite Sees Strongest Sales in 7 Years, Despite Scared Jewelers

Moissanite manufacturer Charles & Colvard had its best sales quarter since 2006—even as company executives lamented that many brick-and-mortar jewelers remain scared of the diamond simulant.

In a conference call following the release of its financial results, president and CEO Randy McCullough called the company “among the best performers in the industry,” noting that its annual sales jumped 27 percent, outpacing the jewelry business average of 7.7 percent. He attributed most of the growth to the company’s new Forever Brilliant Collection. He said the company will soon announce a Survivor Collection, which will feature pink center stones and benefit breast cancer awareness.

He added the company’s products have seen “robust” sales at Kohl’s and on Helzberg’s website. But chief operating officer Steve Larkin admitted that some jewelers are a tougher sale. 

“I’ll be honest with you, they are afraid of it,” he said. “They are afraid that it will cannibalize sales from their diamonds and they have already made the investment in their diamonds.”

Overall, the company’s fourth quarter saw its best sales in eight years, with receipts rising 6 percent to $8.6 million. The company posted a $104,916 profit for the quarter, as opposed to last year’s fourth-quarter profit of $4.1 million, which it attributed to tax benefits.

The company’s wholesale business, which accounts for 85 percent of sales, decreased 1 percent to $7.3 million in the year’s final quarter. Its direct-to-consumer businesses—Moissanite.com and home-sales channel Lulu Avenue—increased 69 percent for the period to $1.3 million. 

Sales for the full year were $28.5 million, up from last year’s $22.5 million. Loose-jewel sales increased 23 percent to $18.5 million for the year, and finished-jewelry sales rose 34 percent to $10 million. The company posted a $1.3 million loss for the year, compared with a $4.4 million profit in 2012.

JCK News Director