President's Corner - High Street Shopping on the Information Superhighway

I am not a great fan of trade shows; they are extremely strenuous and expensive affairs. My company partakes in five tradeshows throughout the year. Without a doubt, the crown jewel is BASELWORLD show, which is coming up in just over two week’s time. This tradeshow will cost us over USD120,000 before making even one sale!

The latest HKTDC Hong Kong International Jewellery Show, which we just returned from this week, will remain long in our memory. Although it isn’t because of the really brisk business - which was substantially stronger than last year - but for the New Zealand lamb-chops they served at the local kosher restaurant every evening. 

 LEIBISH Booth at the 2012 HKTDC Hong Kong Tradeshow

LEIBISH Booth at the 2012 HKTDC Hong Kong Tradeshow

Our four sales people worked uninterrupted with clients and sold a huge amount of yellow diamonds and multicolor jewelry. However, our Tel Aviv home office stole the show from us. A salesman at a trade show can in no way match the speed people travel on the digital information superhighway.

In Hong Kong we made some exceptional sales. Though, the finest and most exciting sale this month was made by Mali and Shmulik back in Tel Aviv.

Fancy Purplish Red

The Stunning Radiant -shaped, Fancy Purplish Red Diamond

Mali sold a fancy purplish red radiant with a special report from the well known fancy color gemologist Stephan Hofer. A stone so mesmerizing, one could get lost in its glory.

 Leibish Polnauer and Mr. Stephen C. Hofer

Stephan Hofer with Leibish Ponauer and Shmulik Polnauer at the BASELWORLD Show

The funniest sale during the show was a diamond that was purchased by a Hong Kong client not by our sales team at the Hong Kong show which was led by me personally, but on our website - back in Israel. Talk about feeling obsolete…

Shmulik uploaded a pink diamond at 10:00 a.m. GMT. At 10:01 GMT (only one minute later) the stone was sold to a Hong Kong collector, who was too busy working and didn’t have the time to visit us at the Hong Kong show, just a 15 minute drive from his office.

 0.52-Carat, Fancy Light Pink

A Beautiful Round, 0.52-Carat, Fancy Light Pink Diamond 

The collector noticed the 0.52 carat fancy light pink round diamond on his iPhone the minute it was uploaded, pressed the buy button and the stone was his. Only 10 minutes later, an established client from Australia sent a mail asking how this half carat fancy light pink round ended up as ”reserved” just moments after it had been uploaded. He obviously knew it wasn’t there beforehand. An hour later, a third client from San Francisco wanted to purchase the diamond, but by then the stone was history....

How can a trade show compete with a virtual store?

For a trade show, the sellers and buyers travel thousands of miles, pay huge amounts to get there, and spend days looking around. The buyer of the 0.52 carat fancy light pink did not even get up from his chair. He did not visit any store, he did not make a phone call, he only spent 30 seconds and this spectacular pink diamond was his. It does not get any easier than that.

A day at a trade show feels like a month. I was soaking in the bathtub after a double Scotch thinking my day was over. Suddenly my Blackberry lights up with a photo of a Mercedes with a Chinese license plate with the number 168. The same lucky number of our Prosperity Pink Diamond, a 1.68 carat fancy vivid purplish pink.

 The Prosperity Car

The Prosperity Car - 168

 Leibish Prosperity Pink Diamond Engagement Ring

The Leibish Prosperity Pink Diamond Ring

The picture was taken in the car park of our hotel just one minute earlier. I jumped out of the bath and sent a Blackberry Message to Amir and Itzik to go with the concierge and find the owner of the vehicle. They tried but to no avail - the Prosperity Mercedes was gone.

With regards to the Prosperity Pink, we still have the diamond on hand. We haven’t found the owner just yet, but the show isn’t over until the fat lady sings....

Popular Articles View more articles
Article Image

Well, it was good while it lasted, or was it? The LGD party left a heap of collateral damage in its wake, to the consumer who was fed a promise that didn’t

Article Image

As you might imagine, we often receive calls from jewelry appraisers seeking to know the replacement value of fancy color diamonds purchased years back.

Article Image

Legendary French jeweler Jacques Cartier was a master at mixing materials in contrasting shapes and colors which became synonymous with his brand. This extraordinary