Charles & Colvard Hires Tacori, Richline Veterans as Moissanite Moves Upmarket

Forever One will be positioned as a higher-end product that will vie for bridal sales

Charles & Colvard has hired two veterans of Tacori and Richline as it seeks to market its Forever One moissanite to bridal customers.

Julianna O’Brien, former director of merchandising at Tacori, has joined the mossianite manufacturer as vice president of merchandising. Don O’Connell, former vice president of Richline Group, is now senior vice president of supply chain and distribution.  

In a conference call following the release of its financial results, CEO Suzanne Miglucci said the company hopes to position Forever One, its new colorless product, as a higher-end gem that will vie for bridal sales. But she admitted it hasn’t been easy penetrating brick-and-mortar retailers that typically sell diamonds.

“Many of those stores are actually underwritten and backed in part by the diamond industry,” she said, according to a SeekingAlpha earnings call transcript. “They are very interested in keeping [tight reins] on what products go into their stores.… So it’s a bit of a blocker for us, not that it’s insurmountable.”

Social responsibility is central to the company’s new pitch—but Miglucci doesn’t fear a backlash from retailers that carry other products.

“We believe that the millennial is very concerned about ethically sourced products,” she said. “We’re simply trying to come forward and confirm our commitment to creating a socially responsible stone and socially responsible jewelry.… It’s not a ding on other parts of the industry, it is simply us stating that we are, in fact, sourced in an ethical way. We don’t mine the earth to create our product, it’s actually lab grown.”

The company’s financial results for the first quarter of 2016 saw increased sales and a lower loss:

– Net sales from continuing operations increased 62 percent to $11.4 million, helped by a onetime $6.8 million purchase of Forever Classic Gemstones by the company’s largest customer.

– Loose jewel net sales from continuing operations grew 152 percent to $9.6 million.

– Finished jewelry net sales from continuing operations sagged 45 percent to $1.8 million.

– Wholesale increased 70 percent to $10.1 million.

– Sales on its direct-to-consumer e-commerce business,, increased 21 percent to $1.3 million.

– Its net loss for the quarter was $1.3 million, compared to last year’s $1.7 million.

JCK News Director