Wakefields’ Melanie Wakefield describes description as confusing.

Wakefields director Melanie Wakefield yesterday urged the UK jewellery industry to drop the term semi-precious when describing gemstones, calling it as confusing.

The retailer took to the stage at the CMJ’s inaugural UK Jewellery Conference in Birmingham to speak on behalf of international jewellery organisation CIBJO. During her talk the charismatic director spoke about a wide range of topics including the importance of ethical jewellery in the market, building up trust with consumers and the term semi-precious gemstones.


Wakefield said: “The term semi-precious is confusing to consumers and it really shouldn’t be used any more. All gemstones are precious and consumers are more educated now.”

On the topic of ethical jewellery Wakefield said that all retail jewellers should get to know their suppliers and be able to communicate this information to customers to help to build a sense of trust and transparency.

She said: “Know your suppliers, visit them, talk to them, ask for written confirmation. Every retailer can take responsibility and offer best practise. Your reputation is everything.”

Wakefield admitted that gathering all this information and understanding every element of the global industry in order to act as an informed voice to shoppers can be daunting, admitting that even after many years in the trade she still feels “like I’m not an expert, that I’m bluffing my way through”. This, she said, is where CIBJO can help with its wealth of information available through its conferences and online.

Wakefield added: “CIBJO is very well respected [internationally] but very little is known about it in the UK. It does seem like an untouchable international organisation but everyone can get access and benefit from their wealth of knowledge.”