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Articles from GEMSTONES - SYNTHETIC (54 Articles)

The issue of synthetic diamonds will be discussed by a panel at the Sydney jewellery fair
The issue of synthetic diamonds will be discussed by a panel at the Sydney jewellery fair

Sydney jewellery fair tackles big issues

A series of presentations at this year’s Sydney jewellery fair will explore hot industry topics and provide jewellers with the latest business and sales boosting strategies.

Gary Fitz-Roy, managing director of fair organiser Expertise Events, said the educational arm of the International Jewellery Fair (IJF) was organised in recognition of how important staying abreast of the latest trends and issues was to running a successful business.

“It’s important to us that the IJF is the place jewellery retailers go to make informed business decisions,” Fitz-Roy said.

“We’re providing innovative seminars, educational components and interactive displays, all designed to help build business and profitability for both visitors and exhibitors.

“International and local experts will be providing insights into overseas trends and will address industry topics, relevant to the Australian market.”

One of these topics is the effect of the increased prevalence of synthetic diamonds. A panel discussion, titled Natural vs. Synthetic diamonds – the impact on our industry, has been scheduled to address the issue, and will consist of three people working within the industry.

Expert diamond panel

Tony Smallwood – Smallwood has been in the jewellery industry for more than 35 years, working in various organisations including Gem Studies Laboratory (GSL), a sapphire mining company and jewellery chain Angus and Coote. He is said to have extensive education with the Gemmological Association of Australia (GAA) and Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Smallwood has a Master science degree and phD and provides information, training and lecturing to the jewellery industry.


George Proszkowiec – Also involved with the industry for more than 35 years, Proszkowiec and his wife, Elizabeth, acquired their first jewellery store in 1997 and opened their second store in 2000. Early in his career Proszkowiec spent a year working on the bench with a master jeweller in Poland. He has since completed a gemmology course and qualified as a registered valuer. Proszkowiec became a Showcase Jewellers director in 1997 and is a director of the National Council of Jewellery Valuers’ NSW branch.


Bill Sechos – With more than 25 years’ experience, Sechos holds a science degree from the University of Sydney and received the Australian Prize for his achievements whilst completing a GAA Diploma of Gemmology. He has also served as the GAA president and chairman of the GAA Board of Studies and Examinations while still being actively involved with their training programmes as senior lecturer. He is the director of one of Australia’s major diamond grading laboratories, GSL.


Bookings are required for the discussion panel and can be made up until it commences at 9am on Sunday 28 August. Register via

Industry training

An Independent Retailer’s Conference will replace the traditional Spotlight Learning Exchange program in 2016.

Jewellery retailers can hear the latest business strategies from expert speakers during a series of daily, free sessions designed to increase industry knowledge and sales.

Among the confirmed speakers is Chris Ashton, managing partner at digital marketing agency Kymodo, who will host SEO 101 – An Introduction to Modern Search Engine Optimisation at 12.30pm.

Kymodo account manager Kieran Reed will discuss the topics of Creating a Memorable Brand and Social Media for Small Retailers and Google AdWords Basics: How to Build a Strong Campaign for Great Results at 10.30am and 3.30pm respectively.

Dominique Lamb, director of employment law and principal of legal at the National Retail Association, is also scheduled to speak about How to Win Employees and Influence Your People at 11.30am.

Buying group agenda
Colin Pocklington, Nationwide Jewellers managing director
Colin Pocklington, Nationwide Jewellers managing director

Education and providing jewellers with tips on how to improve business is on the agenda for Australia and New Zealand’s three buying groups as well.

Sechos will also run diamond-training workshops for Nationwide Jewellers members on the Saturday and Sunday of the Sydney fair. Sechos has conducted the sessions since 2001 and Nationwide Jewellers managing director Colin Pocklington said several of them were already full for the 2016 event.

Additional Nationwide workshops and seminars taking place on the first two days cover topics such as jewellery photography, how to use computer reports and a group discussion on branded jewellery – measuring and reviewing brand performance.

Leading Edge Jewellers will hold its annual members conference directly before the fair from Wednesday 24 August to Friday 26 August and group general manager Josh Zarb said there was a “massive” schedule planned.

Joshua Zarb, Leading Edge Group Jewellers general manager
Joshua Zarb, Leading Edge Group Jewellers general manager

“The overall conference theme is ‘How do you retail in 2016 and beyond’. We have had a massive year of growth taking on 36 new stores and many of these new members will be attending our conference,” Zarb Explained.

Those in attendance will receive training on a range of topics such as social media and digital marketing, how to get the best from staff during the Christmas trading period and stock purchasing.

Zarb added the Leading Edge members lounge at the IJF would be used to conduct training. 

“As always our members lounge will be used to provide a haven for our members; we use the time to conduct specialist training on all group resources and digital marketing.”

Carson Webb, Showcase Jewellers general manager
Carson Webb, Showcase Jewellers general manager

Similarly, Showcase Jewellers is conducting its annual conference in the three days prior to the Sydney fair.
Showcase Jewellers general manager Carson Webb said the period would be “packed” with training, activities and socialising.

“We have an international coloured stone specialist – assisting in bringing colour back to life – and two exceptional keynote speakers,” Webb stated, adding, “Vanessa Stoykov [Evolution Media Group] is discussing wealth education with a focus on small to medium business owners and Pippa Kulmar the branding strategist from Retail Oasis will also speak.”

The IJF will be held from Saturday 27 August to Monday 29 August at the Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island.

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