The Sri Lankan Gem and Jewellery Association (GJA) has come together to create promotional content under the common theme ‘Ceylon Sapphire’ to promote the precious stone globally. Given that Ceylon Sapphires have geological properties making them more interesting than diamonds the GJA hopes to be able to secure a price premium on the product.
GJA has already funded the creation of common branding material to be showcased by international dealers in Ceylon Sapphires. The GJA had a very successful showing at the recent Dubai Expo. GJA made this announcement via a press conference on March 22 at the Hilton Colombo.
International Jeweller Helen Molesworth noted that Ceylon Sapphires were historically part of any eminent jewellery collection with Royal families all over Europe having them in their most prized pieces. She went on to add that the element of colour that sapphires had made them more interesting geologically and aesthetically for the creation of jewellery. The GJA has created 11 short videos suitable for digital distribution channels usable by all stakeholders in the industry. CEO Wunderman Thompson Alyna Haji Omar who spearheaded the branding noted that little had been done to capitalize on the rich history of Ceylon Sapphires.
The video has already had over 1 million Facebook views, 1.1 million YouTube views, and 107,000 LinkedIn impressions. The team has created 1 longer broad vision video of 1 minute alongside 10 smaller videos that each ties the Ceylon Sapphire to other rich cultural aspects of the country. Omar said, “The narratives have to be personal.” Omar over the long term plans to target the Gen Z and Millennial marketplace who are looking to break into the ‘New Luxury’ product space.
Omar wanted more to be done to stress the historical positioning of Ceylon Sapphires in Royal Jewellery collections.
Director Regal Gems and GJA representative Altaf Iqbal noted that the industry had little business for over 1.5 years due to COVID-19. He noted that this represented the first coordinated effort to brand Ceylon Sapphires. The campaign has cost Rs 25 million but through targeted exposure alongside the Dubai Expo, the project has been able to gain over US$ 1 million in terms of coverage. Iqbal wanted to position Ceylon Sapphires as more alluring than Diamonds for use cases in Valentine’s Day gifts, engagement rings, and as centrepieces in high-end jewellery pieces. Iqbal criticized the historical practice of exporting precious stones from Sri Lanka like commodities.