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Exelco Group becomes DTC sightholder

Monday, 18th July 2005
Source: Jewelry News Asia, July 2005
Specialist of unique patented cuts and hearts-and-arrows diamonds, the Exelco Group has become a DTC sightholder. The company is confident that securing a continuous and consistent supply of rought from the DTC will facilitate the continued growth and expansion of the Exelco business.

In addition, collaborating with the Sales and Marketing arm of De Beers will further raise the profile of the Exelco Group's retail stores in Japan and their branding programmes with international retailers.

Exelco is set to launch a branded modified cushion cut through its retails stores in Japan established in a partnership with a Japanese company. Founding partner and president of the company, Jean Paul Tolkowsky, said diamonds in the new branded cut are set exclusively in a jewelry collection specially deisnged for the new cut. While maintaining the classic appearance of a cushion cut, the modified facet alignment which forms a star pattern, produces more life in the stone, he said. "The diamonds in this new cut are from D to I colours, VVS to SI1, from 30 to 60 points."

Some of the pieces are engagement rings while the others are fashionable designs catering to consumers who already own several pieces of diamond jewelry. "Initially the jwerly will be available at 10 of our retail stores, and the number will gradually increase to 30. Our own in-house production facilities enable us to be flexible in the production volume of diamonds in this unique cut."

Mr. Tolkowsky is the seventh generation of the celebrated Tolkowsky family. His father, Gabi Tolkowsky, was commissioned by De Beers in 1986 and 1987 for a project to develop unique cuts for the marketing of colored diamonds. The end result of the project was a range of “signature” unique cuts named after several floral species, including the Dhalia cut. Mr. Gabi Tolkowsky also led the team that designed and cut De Beers’ Centenary Diamond, in addition to his input in the design and polishing of other world-famous important diamonds.

Putting enormous resources into the development of "signature" cuts, Exelco currently holds over 50 patents for unique cuts. "We are constantly approached by retail chains all over the world that are looking for unique cuts for use exclusively in their branded jewelry lines. We hold regular discussions on fashion trends with the jewelry designers of our regular customers to develop their latest collections with our unique cuts. This sort of cooperation and synergy bring the diamond manufacturer and a jewelry retailer together to develop unique products that appeal to the target customers. There are many possibilities for example, we have modified cushions, modified heart shapes and modified rounds. We have a product development team dedicated to the creation of new unique cuts and my father offers advice from time to time."

Currently, approximately 25 of Exelco's patented diamond cuts are available through retail outlets operated by the company's customers all over the world. Another founding partner and president of the company, Lior Kunstler, said: "Some customers use the patented cuts as their own branded cuts and do not mention our name, while others market the branded cuts in conjunction with the Tolkowsky name for the prestige and additional impact. It is purely the choice of the customer."

Exelco's unique cuts appeal to fashion-conscious modern women who purchase trendy jewellery designs for themselves and use jewellery to accessorise their latest fashions from top designer houses. "To meet the growing demand from this market segment, international jewellery houses are constantly seeking diamonds in unique cuts for their seasonal jewellery collections. Diamond jewellery has become more like higher-end fashion accessory; it is more than just engagement and wedding rings," Mr Kunstler said.

In addition to expertise and capability in developing unique cuts, customers rely on Exelco to supply these unique cuts regularly in strict assortments of consistent quality and uniform make, according to Mr Tolkowsky. Exelco's service makes it easy for its customers to formulate long-term marketing plans for products with these unique cuts.

While the patented unique cuts are positioned as niche products, Exelco's core business remains hearts-and-arrows diamonds. "We see plenty of room for hearts-and-arrows diamond sales growth in Southeast Asia. The more mature a market becomes, the more demand there is for heart-and-arrows diamonds. With their growing affluence and increased knowledge of diamonds, Asian consumers seek more than just the quality of the diamonds, they want the quality in the cut and make as well," Mr Tolkowsky said. Optimistic about sales in Southeast Asia, Exelco has opened an office, FTK Worldwide Manufacturing (The Exelco Group), in Hong Kong. The company also exhibits at the Hong Kong Jewellery and Watch Fair in June and September.