In This Episode
You’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky and news director Rob Bates discuss former JCK editor-in-chief George Holmes’ legacy, LVMH’s investment in Lusix, and Russian diamonds and Ukrainian jewelers.
00:30 Victoria and Rob remember former JCK editor-in-chief George Holmes
13:51 Victoria reports on the state of the industry
17:15 Rob reports on LVMH’s investment in Lusix
20:03 Victoria and Rob talk about Russian diamonds and Ukrainian jewelers
Remembering George Holmes
George Holmes, JCK’s former editor-in-chief of 22 years, died last month. Victoria describes his as a legendary editor. Rob talks about his time working with him and says he was gracious and intelligent with unyielding editorial integrity. Victoria and Rob share an audio clip from an earlier podcast of Joe Thompson speaking about George Holmes.
State of the Industry
Victoria discusses a Jewelers Board of Trade webinar with its president, Erich Jacobs. He showed graphs on consumer sentiment, confidence, unemployment rates, and more. Erich says unemployment is linked to consumer satisfaction—if unemployment is low, generally consumer confidence is high. Now, we’re seeing a break from this. We have record low unemployment and low consumer confidence. Victoria says retailers may feel a little pinch in their bottom line, as consumers aren’t using credit cards as much.
LVMH and Lab-Grown Diamonds
Rob comments on the lab-grown space and LVMH Luxury Holdings’ investment in Lusix, an Israeli lab-grown diamond company. LVMH is not being shy about its investment—but this investment raises questions. Rob believes LVMH wants Lusix to scale with more persistent production. Victoria asks if the luxury sector is finally ready to accept lab-grown diamonds, and Rob isn’t sure.
Victoria asks what’s happening in the world of Russian diamonds, and Rob says there are rumors in the industry about banks in Europe not wanting to fund Russian diamond shipments. Rob says the big companies have figured out a way to get diamonds back on the market after a slow run for Russian diamonds. On the flip side, Victoria has spoken to many Ukrainian jewelers, and her takeaway was their commitment to improving the industry and getting attention for Ukrainian jewelers in the market.
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