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Tolkowsky goes Nationwide

A branded jewellery collection from Tolkowsky, the name synonymous with diamond cutting, is to be launched in Australia and New Zealand.

Nationwide Jewellers has secured exclusive distribution rights to the Tolkowsky Collection of diamond jewellery.

The Tolkowsky name has a rich heritage that dates back to 1880, when Abraham Tolkowsky first began designing jewellery pieces for European nobility.

The name is still widely recognised today and has become synonymous with well-cut diamonds since Gabi Tolkowsky cut the world's largest diamond, the Golden Jubilee, and also De Beers' Centenary diamond – the largest D-flawless stone in existence.

Nationwide Jewellers managing director Colin Pocklington said discussions to bring the range to Australia began three years ago when he met with 21st Dimension, an Antwerp-based, luxury-goods-marketing firm.

The company boasts a partnership with the Exelco Group, a vertically-integrated sightholder of the Diamond Trading Company (DTC) owned by Gabi Tolkowsky’s son Jean Paul, and holding sights in both London and Botswana.

"I first met with 21st Dimension in early 2007," Pocklington said. "Since then, we have been selecting the range, the sizes of diamonds, discussing the design changes to suit the local market, (and) reviewing all the marketing and point-of-sale material."

The Tolkowsky Collection's Australian and New Zealand release incorporates ideal-cut stones in white gold and it seems logical that the range exclusively features ideal-cut diamonds given that Abraham Tolkowsky's son Marcel invented the ideal cut in 1919.

While the wider Tolkowsky range also includes pieces crafted in yellow gold and platinum, Nationwide has stated plans to concentrate its marketing around the white gold items.

"After considerable time, we settled on the Signature T and the Twist ranges," Pocklington explained of the decision to focus on white gold. "There were six or seven other ranges to consider but we feel these two are the most interesting. We will add one new range each year and the beauty is that we will be able to gauge the success from other markets."

The Tolkowsky range is currently available in the US and Europe, as well as Japan, where Pocklington claims the brand outsells Tiffany & Co.

While it’s not the first branded diamond jewellery range exclusive to the 400-strong buying group – Nationwide already has the Diamond Delights range – Pocklington believed the addition of the Tolkowsky Collection was a "step-up" to a high-end, branded range.

It was launched at the annual Nationwide Jewellers conference, held in Cairns during June, where a record 100 stores with 230 attendees, were present at the Sheraton Mirage Hotel to see the unveiling of the new range.

All Tolkowsky pieces come with an International Gemological Institute (IGI) grading certificate and every purchase includes a personalised certificate of authenticity, which is a major component of the range and the branding, according to Pocklington: "After the customer buys a Tolkowsky piece, they register their details on an international website and they are then sent a certificate of authenticity personally signed by Jean Paul Tolkowsky."

Also included is a reference number with every diamond item that can be used to trace diamonds back to their origins, while Perfection Revealed gift boxes complete Tolkowsky's distinctive branding by raising items before one's eyes when opened.

Additionally, stockists will receive Heart & Arrows viewers and stands, LCD display stands, serving trays, posters and ticketing.

An in-store handbook and manual, along with a DVD, will also be supplied as part of the range, which consists of rings, pendants, earrings and bangles.

The Tolkowsky Collection will be available to approved Nationwide stockists in October, with Pocklington adding that the financing was "extremely attractive". The arrival of the Tolkowsky Collection in Australia has been "three years in the making", according to Pocklington, and represents a major initiative to help Nationwide members to set themselves apart.

"Some years ago when I was in the US, I noticed that each cabinet was dedicated to a specific range with branded product. We believed then that this would be a trend that would be adopted in Australia, and it is now becoming even stronger," Pocklington said, adding that branded diamond-jewellery ranges were the way forward: "Our own brands have had some success but we decided that it’s not the same as having an established international brand. The customer wants to have a strong attachment to the brand – an image, a heritage, a story – and that’s why the Tolkowsky name is perfect."

Nationwide will launch the Tolkowsky Collection with a consumer print campaign in both Marie Claire and Bride to Be magazines beginning in November.


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