Brands To Change Market, Predicts Rothman

October 1, 1999

Brands To Change Market, Predicts Rothman

As many as 20 new diamond brands will emerge within the next five years, accounting for up to 50% of the world's diamonds and dividing the diamond business into a two-tiered market, predicted Glenn Rothman, head of one of the fastest-growing branded diamond companies in the U.S.

De Beers probably will expand its branding program into the U.S., the CEO of Hearts on Fire Diamonds, Boston, MA, told about 300 retail jewelers attending a three-day sales training program this week in Las Vegas, NV. De Beers has changed its position from being a company benevolent to retailers to a corporation with concern only for its stockholders, Rothman said. "If De Beers can control [diamonds] from the mine to the finger, they will maximize profits," he said.

He also predicted De Beers eventually will control only 40% of diamond mining as opposed to the 80% it controlled just a few years ago, "but it will control the best 40%," he said. "De Beers will shake its label as a diamond monopoly. I think this will all happen in the next three to five years," he added.

Rothman doesn't feel this will hurt the diamond business. "It will open up new opportunities," he said. "Branded diamonds will be thought of as 'new diamonds' and worth more. It will create a new industry." He said he expects unbranded diamonds will be labeled "old" diamonds with lower value. Emerging brands will be well-financed and could account for 90% of diamond sales in Japan, he predicted.

Hearts on Fire® is a "zero" cut diamond with "excellent" proportions and symmetry, a branded version of the Hearts and Arrows cut. Hearts on Fire offers jewelers regional exclusivity, a full marketing support program and sales training. More than 280 U.S. jewelry stores carry Hearts on Fire diamonds.

- by Jack Heeger