Australia’s largest jewellery industry buying group, Nationwide Jewellers, will soon make its next voyage to Belgium, the ‘heart’ of much of the international diamond trade.
The tour is scheduled for March and will take the group to the Antwerp Diamond Club, where each member will have the opportunity to sit at a cutting wheel and polish a facet on a piece of diamond rough.
The factory specialises in cutting and polishing and supplies many ‘high profile’ jewellers in London, Paris and New York.
“Our members will be able to purchase diamond rough in several qualities for use in window displays and marketing,” said Nationwide general manager Glen Pocklington.
“As we have done in the past, we will arrange for the Kimberley certificates in order to have the rough shipped back to our Australian and New Zealand members.”
Approximately 85 per cent of the world’s rough diamonds and half of the supply of polished diamonds pass through Antwerp.
Nationwide has arranged trips to Antwerp since 1999 with more than 1200 participants taking part to date.
“Our Antwerp marketing program continues to deliver substantial additional diamond sales for members, with the record for pre-sold diamonds on a single trip standing at $224,000,” Pocklington said.
Apprentice assistance to continue
Nationwide also recently confirmed that the Apprentice Assistance Subsidy will continue for a 14th year.
The Apprentice Assistance subsidy provides Nationwide members’ apprentices with either $400 in cash to put towards tertiary fees or a $500 tools voucher.
The vouchers can be used to acquire tools from Australian Jewellers Supplies (Australia) or G & A Warburtons (New Zealand). Both suppliers have sponsored the scheme since its inception.
“Based on this early response, we expect the number of apprentices receiving support to be close to last year’s 29 enrolments”, said Nationwide’s membership manager Erin Keller.
“We are pleased to be able to assist so many who are starting their careers in the jewellery industry”.
Nationwide will also be hosting the Apprentice of the Year skills competition with the winner to be announced at the International Jewellery Fair on 19-21 August.
Nationwide serves 306 members (336 stores) in Australia, with a further 69 members in New Zealand and one in Fiji.
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