Q&A: GFG Jewellery buyer reflects on CARAT+ as diamond destination
London-based Nilufer Kizilkaya, owner and creative director of jewellery brand GFG Jewellery by Nilufer, explains why she is looking forward to returning to CARAT+ in 2018.
Q: You attended CARAT+ in 2017 and are planning to visit the second edition in 2018. What types of gemstones are you looking to buy at CARAT+ in May?
Nilufer Kizilkaya: Last year I had the pleasure of attending two great shows in Antwerp, one of them being CARAT+. I am so glad that CARAT+ is an annual exhibition as Antwerp is one of the best places in Europe to purchase all kind of stones, especially diamonds.
Black diamond and emerald earrings from the Noir Collection by GFG Jewellery.
Last year there were several great exhibitors of fancy cut and fancy colour diamonds, and I look forward to meeting them again. Responsibly sourced diamonds and gemstones are of great importance. You need to understand and know the source, the miners and the cutters to establish the trust to be able to tell the story of the diamonds and gemstones that you use to your customers.
Q: What are you going to do with the gemstones that you will buy? Are you preparing for a new collection or an exhibition of your jewellery pieces?
NK: We purchase diamonds and gemstones for our bespoke pieces and we are also preparing a new collection and some special items to exhibit at Couture in Las Vegas in June, mainly with diamonds and sapphires mixed with rubies and emeralds.
Delicate diamond and gemstone rings by GFG Jewellery.
Q: What, in your view, are the main trends and challenges in the coloured gemstones and diamond markets?
NK: The UK consumer is a bit more conservative than in some other markets and is not used to a profusion of colours. Whilst this is changing, change does take some time.
Some gemstones are not well known. For example, everybody is aware of the blue sapphire. And now there is a new royal inspiration influencing colour. Britain’s Princess Eugenie’s pink padparadscha sapphire engagement ring has opened the door to other colours of sapphires and an appreciation of their beauty.
Another key point is that fashion can play an important role in coloured gemstones sales. The 2018 Ultra Violet Pantone Colour should support sales of deep coloured amethysts, which can be beautifully paired with several other gemstones.
Seraphina rings set with amethyst by GFG Jewellery.
Q: Why is CARAT+ on your buying schedule? What does the show offer to you, compared with other gem buying fairs on the calendar?
NK: I like CARAT+ as it creates an opportunity to visit suppliers there are based in Europe and Israel. The fact that it is only a train ride away from London provides great convenience for UK-based buyers like myself.
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Q: What did you buy at CARAT+ last year? How was your experience at the show?
NK: CARAT+ is great inspiration for gemstone buyers. I cannot envisage any jewellery designer or creative mind in the jewellery industry passing by the diamonds and gemstones areas and not getting inspired - it is basically impossible!
Last year I purchased some diamonds at CARAT+ and due to its timing this year, I will possibly top up on my recent purchases of diamonds, as well as some coloured gemstones.
Words by David Brough
Discover more about GFG Jewellery by Nilufer, here.
CARAT+ is The World’s Premier Diamond Event, covering the full spectrum of the diamond and diamond jewellery trades. The show specialises in four sectors: loose diamonds, branded diamond jewellery, non-branded diamond jewellery and services for the diamond jewellery industry.
Taking place in Hall 1 and Hall 4 of the Antwerp Expo on 6, 7 and 8 May, entry to the show is restricted exclusively to industry professionals, including diamond and jewellery wholesalers and manufacturers from around the world, and jewellery retailers from across Europe and the wider world.