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Las Vegas lowdown: Cautious buying and high hopes for a turnaround

Darren Dubrovsky, president of Montreal-based Empress Luxury, the Canadian subsidiary of the Shah Group of Companies, says the bridal industry isn’t 100 per cent immune to challenging times. While a bride may have her heart set on a large diamond engagement ring, the groom’s or couple’s budget may be more geared toward a smaller or lower-quality stone. To help alleviate some of the budget constraint, Shah introduced a proprietary hand-set composite top where angled shared prongs in a halo setting are used to create the illusion of a large single centre stone. At some point down the road when money is less of an issue, the consumer can switch out the top for a bigger stone and reuse it in a pendant, for example.

“It allows the consumer to graduate to the next level by switching out the top for a bigger centre stone,” he explained. “The consumer wants that big bling look, but their budget is much more constrained. Why should they have to trade quality for size?”

With the Vegas shows behind us, the Canadian jewellery industry will be heading to its own trade events in August. Stay tuned for our coverage of CJExpos Toronto, CJExpos Edmonton, and Expo Prestige in the October issue.

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