INTERVIEW: Hockley Mint MD on championing bridal and a new silver alloy

Hockley Mint has been busy at this year’s IJL shining a light on bridal, launching new products, and unveiling for the first time a new diamond detector and exclusive silver alloy.

Here, Professional Jeweller grabs a quick minute with the British manufacturer’s managing director, Gary Wroe…

Many retailers appear to be returning to bridal jewellery, have you seen this reflected in your own business?
Retailers are gaining back their own identities. Many who saw the rise of branded jewellery can appreciate the benefits from the quality of British-made product and the ability to differentiate themselves from their local competitors. Our bespoke department has seen a rise in retailers working with us to create their own unique running lines. We can help retailers to create their signature pieces and hopefully help them compete against multiples and online competitors. We have also invested in our new bridal offering, which will see a collection of more traditional and unusual styles to allow retailers to offer a more varied range. We are helping to promote this with the launch of our new catalogue at the show and sponsorship of IJL’s new ‘Bridal Showcase’ area.

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You launched your first fully branded bridal collection in 2016. How has that been received by retailers in the UK?
Marime was the first time we’ve ventured into the branded market, as Hockley Mint has always been known for producing white label products to allow retailers to create their own collections. In the first year of the collection being on the market it won two awards as recognition for the designs, which has been a great achievement for us. Because of this we’ve now decided to include some of the most popular designs within our main collections, and they will be available within our new Wedfit catalogue to order as mounts.

What new products are you launching at IJL?
IJL will see our biggest new product launch for three years, together with a new Wedfit catalogue that will be over 200 pages long. Our stockists have been crying out for a new master catalogue and we have been working on making our biggest and best one yet, with a new fresh look that we hope our retailers are going to love. IJL will also see the first reveal of our new Wedfit collection consisting of over 80 new mounts – single stones, three, five, seven and nine stones, clusters, pendants and earrings. Plus for the first time some designs from the Marime collection will be available to buy as mounts.

What is your new Magnificent Seven scheme?
The Magnificent Seven is a collection of new diamond set bands that have been extremely popular with our retailers, which we will be launching at IJL. By bringing to market these new designs it has allowed us to introduce new price points levels for the same product design, and will also be available with a specially designed point of sale for retailers. By matching up style, cost and quality these really are magnificent. Who knows, there may be a sequel – the return of the Magnificent Seven!

You are also launching Silnova, a new silver alloy, at IJL — can you tell us more about it?
Silnova is a fantastic product that we are offering to those customers looking to get added value in a tarnish-resistant silver. There have been extensive trials with the material and it has performed extremely well against other silvers — in fact it has been likened to the same tarnish resistance as 9ct gold. This is a premium silver alloy and as such contains palladium which help with the anti-tarnishing properties. The product produced will be branded with the Silnova mark and we are hoping to reach brands/designers/studios who will certainly benefit from the material. At IJL we will have samples that have been cast, soldered, polished so that the lustre of the metal can be seen.

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