Professional Jeweler Archive: Daniel K & Fabrikant Join Forces with Antwerp Diamantaires

November 2003

Diamonds/News


Daniel K & Fabrikant Join Forces with Antwerp Diamantaires

The new partnerships funnel more diamonds to U.S. companies working on branding efforts


In the ongoing push to become more vertically integrated, Antwerp diamond manufacturers are following the lead of counterparts in other cutting centers, such as the U.S., India and Israel. In one common strategy, the manufacturers ally with jewelry-savvy manufacturers in the U.S. who are already marketing and branding their goods to consumers. Here are the plans of two such companies.

DD Manufacturing and Daniel K

DD Manufacturing, Antwerp’s largest diamond manufacturer and supplier of loose larger polished diamonds, plans for aggressive growth of its jewelry manufacturing division by expanding a partnership with Daniel K, a diamond jewelry house in New York City that just introduced a major image-building campaign. DDM employs over 230 workers in eight factories, accounting for 20% of Antwerp’s manufacturing base. DDM plans to have 300 workers by year-end.

The growth initiative comes one year after DDM partnered with Daniel K to produce top-end handmade diamond platinum jewelry. DDM’s decision to begin producing jewelry in June 2002 was part of a strategy to increase return on investment in rough diamonds through greater vertical integration. DDM buys rough diamonds from the three major mining companies: De Beers’ Diamond Trading Co., Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton.

The three main components of Daniel K’s image-building campaign are lifestyle advertising, the expansion of a recently introduced fashion collection and a move off New York’s 47th Street to larger office space on Fifth Avenue.

The ad campaign runs through the holiday season in such national consumer titles as W, In Style, Departures and Town & Country. While the company formerly relied on bridal and classic collection merchandise ads in trade, bridal and select consumer magazines, the new campaign highlights more fashion-forward designs and shows women can wear Daniel K’s jewelry anywhere. One ad, for example, shows a woman checking the temperature of a baby’s bottle while wearing a right-hand ring. Other ads show women holding chopsticks, fingering through fabric swatches, holding a bowling ball, carrying a handbag and lifting a sleek free weight.

The ads promote Red by Daniel K,® a new collection of right-hand rings. Each of the nine initial designs features platinum rings with white and fancy yellow DDM-supplied diamonds ranging from 0.50 to 5 carats in a variety of cuts, including Asscher, Ideal, brilliant, cushion and Radiant. The new ads are supported by a grass-roots public relations campaign implemented in May 2003 targeting trade, fashion, entertainment and business press.

In addition designer Daniel Koren recently completed a collection called Reverso, in which all the pieces can be worn two ways.

A third initiative in the fashion collection is a selection of earrings, including two versions of popular chandelier styles, each pair boasting just under 40 carats of DDM-supplied stones. Koren is creating bracelets, necklaces and pendants to add to the collection, which will be launched with DDM in the late fall or winter. Daniel K jewelry is available at fine specialty jewelers throughout the U.S.

Fabrikant and Exelco

M. Fabrikant & Sons Inc. of New York City along with Jean Paul Tolkowsky and Lior Kunstler of Exelco NV in Antwerp formed a joint venture to cut and polish Ideal-cut triple-excellent diamonds in Thailand and to open a new diamond trading operation in Antwerp. The Thai cutting venture results from Fabrikant’s acquisition of 50% of H&A Cutting Works Ltd. (Tolkowsky and Kunstler own the rest.)

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to work with talented, experienced and entrepreneurial marketers,” says Matthew Fortgang, president of M. Fabrikant & Sons. “This partnership will expand the reach of Fabrikant and the commitment we have to our customers by continuing to offer the best value for the finest cut and polished stones available.”

Fabrikant and its partners will expand H&A Cutting factory to increase the manufacturing of Ideal-cut Hearts and Arrows and triple excellents, as well as other signature diamonds. The company anticipates as many as 600 workers will be employed when the expansion is completed in January.

The new selling and trading operation in Antwerp, to be known as FTK Worldwide Manufacturing, will sell goods produced in the Thai factory as well as trade in original business, selected production and rough stones.

“We are excited about the prospect of working with Fabrikant,” Tolkowsky and Kunstler comment in a press release. “The marketing and distribution strength of Fabrikant, coupled with our manufacturing and trading skills, will enable both organizations to experience significant growth.”

M. Fabrikant & Sons Inc. is a fifth-generation family-owned and -operated business. In recent years, it embarked on a campaign to bring diamond jewelry designs to consumers’ attention by placing them on stars in TV shows such as “Sex and the City” and “ER” and on awards shows. Jean Paul Tolkowsky is a seventh-generation diamond entrepreneur whose family includes Marcel Tolkowsky, who famously described the Ideal-cut diamond, and Gabi Tolkowsky, who cut and polished the De Beers Centenary diamond and others. Lior Kunstler represents the third generation of a diamond family and has a background in manufacturing and marketing.

Diamond chandelier earrings by Daniel K feature DD Manufacturing’s diamonds.
An ad from Daniel K’s new lifestyle campaign features a woman checking the temperature of a baby’s bottle while wearing a right-hand diamond ring. The campaign stresses that women wear diamonds during everyday activities.
Diamond drops in Daniel K’s new earring collection alternate yellow and white diamonds and capitalize on consumer interest in colored diamonds and dangling styles.

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