Jeweller recently raised questions about the on-going operations of the Diamond Dealers Club of Australia (DDCA) and in the process a number of other issues have come to light.
The latest confusion relates to the DDCA’s claim it acts for the New Zealand jewellery industry.
According to the DDCA’s website, the Australian club is also the “New Zealand representative of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses”.
The Jewellers Association of New Zealand (JANZ) and the Jewellers & Watchmakers New Zealand (JWNZ) were contacted to confirm the DDCA’s claim, as both associations represent Kiwi retailers and suppliers.
JANZ was not aware that the DDCA purports to be New Zealand’s official representative on the WFDB.
Greg Harford chief executive said, “I’m sorry, I don’t have any background on this issue. Sounds like you would be best to contact WFDB for clarification on this.”
Likewise, a JWNZ representative was unable to verify when, and if, the DDCA was appointed to act on behalf of the New Zealand jewellery industry. He has requested more time to investigate these claims.
Given that two national, member-based jewellery industry associations could not immediately explain how the DDCA acts for their industry, a further question must be asked: If the DDCA is the official representative for New Zealand on the WFDB, to which New Zealand organisation has it been reporting?
Baron sits on the WFDB executive committee courtesy of his position as president of the DDCA.
Confusingly, even though Jeweller has been unable to substantiate the authority on which the DDCA claims to act for, and represent New Zealand, the DDCA website states: “With members spanning Australia-wide, expand your network and reach, trade seamlessly and increase your presence in the Australian diamond market.”
Further, if the DDCA genuinely represents the Kiwi jewellery industry, why does the organisation’s name (Diamond Dealers Club of Australia) make no reference to New Zealand?
One explanation could be that the DDCA appointed itself as the official representative of the New Zealand jewellery industry without seeking authority or ‘permission’ from the local industry.
Jeweller has raised this issue with the WFDB as well as attempting to clarify other confusion about the DDCA. As previously reported, the WFDB has advised that its office is closed for summer holidays and it will respond in due course.
Neglected social media
While the make-up of DDCA’s membership base remains unclear, including the number of New Zealand members, the DDCA is clear on the benefits of being a member.
According to the website, members can “stay ahead of the latest news in the ever-changing diamond market, both nationally and internationally.”
It would appear that the source of that “latest news” is not the DDCA’s official Facebook page, which, at the time of publication, has been inactive for five years. (See image above)
With 315 ‘followers’, the most recent post featured on its Facebook page dates back to 29 September 2017 and reads: “No matter how well you look after your jewellery, sometimes the unexpected happens. Here’s what you can learn from some common Australian insurance claims.”
As previously reported, Q Report Jewellery Insurance is a business that promotes itself as “Australia’s most trusted and top-rated provider of specialised engagement ring insurance” and is registered with ASIC at a George Street, Sydney address, but operates from a Market Street, Sydney location – the same address registered with ASIC for the Diamond Dealers Club of Australia.
The dormant Facebook page also contains an (undated) advertisement titled: ‘Crazy insurance claims revealed’ by QREPORT.com.au.
Regular Facebook activity for DDCA members seems to have stopped in April 2017.
The DDCA’s Youtube communication channel has also been abandoned for more than half a decade.
The club’s last activity on Youtube dates back six years, to 19 July 2016.
As previously reported, Jeweller has sought to clarify with Baron some of the mystery and confusion around the operation and management of the DDCA.
In doing so, it was noted that one of the businesses owned by Baron – Jewelclaim – was using the intellectual property of three international jewellery industry organisations to promote his private insurance claims business.
Following questions about this matter – and subsequent advice from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) that they were not aware their logos were being used by an insurance business – they were removed without explanation.
The About Us section of the DDCA’s Facebook page mentions “ethics, good business practice and morality” on two occasions as being “paramount” to the DDCA.
According to the same section of text, the DDCA also offers a “diamond trading platform” for local traders.
Given that Baron sits on the executive committee of the WFDB, an organisation that has a mission to “advance the principles of trust, transparency and integrity among the members of the bourses and throughout the industry”, the WFDB should explain how, and under whose authority, was the Australian club appointed to act on behalf of New Zealand.
As previously detailed, Jeweller remains open to the possibility that there are simple and logical explanations to the above matters.
However, given that Baron and the DDCA have remained silent, Jeweller hopes to clarify any confusion or misunderstanding with the WFDB.