James Sanders (London Diamonds) is a disruptive innovator and entrepreneur who has broken the mould with his foray into this luxury sector.
The founding of London Diamonds
London Diamonds was founded by James Sanders for a specific purpose. He says: “The business idea came to me when we set out to replace my wife’s engagement ring. It soon became apparent that it was next to impossible to get a fair price for diamonds within the traditional jewellery industry.
“Rather than paying for the diamond alone, it was clear that what you’re actually paying for is everything else – the person selling it to you, the fancy showroom, the expensive shop front. As an active investor and entrepreneur always looking out for a great idea, I decided to launch London Diamonds.”
Today, James Sanders is managing director of the company that sells bespoke jewellery at a fair price. The London Diamonds team comprises bespoke jewellery designers and experts in the UK and worldwide diamond market.
Making sure customers get a good deal
“We work harder and smarter at London Diamonds,” explains James Sanders. “After all, the purchase of an engagement ring is extremely important for so many people around the world. A business-like London Diamonds offers everything that a traditional seller does – all of the same diamond ring shapes, naturally mined diamonds and excellent bespoke jewellery design.
“The difference with London Diamonds is that customers are only paying for the art itself. Our expert advice and diamond ring expertise goes into every sale, making it a far better value experience all round.”
London Diamonds totally dispenses with the expenses of storefront showrooms. Instead, the business concentrates on quality and service, selling primarily through Instagram and its website, and although it’s based in London, the business offers clients the kind of service James believes all clients deserve.
High level of expertise in the diamond market
Of course, it takes a high level of understanding of the diamond engagement ring market in the UK and around the world to truly break into the traditional jewellery industry.
And, as an entrepreneur, James leads the team in being responsible for imparting the relevant information to customers. Managing Director James Sanders says: “So far, we have cornered 1% of the extensive engagement ring market in the UK, and this is very much only the first step. We intend to increase sales, not just in London, but around the world.
“To do this, we need to ensure that our understanding of the wider market for diamonds is thorough and up to date. The future success of London Diamonds is born out of our strategic intent to disrupt and improve.”
Timeless designs with a twist
James Sanders says that the main trends for diamonds in 2023 is about designing a timeless engagement ring, but with a future twist. He says: “I think we’re going to see unique twists on very classic ring designs this year. Ring and design trends do change often, but we’ve also created many classic designs and I don’t see this changing.
“We’re making the kind of art out of our ring designs that our clients want and deserve. This includes all kinds of non-traditional designs, such as the inclusion of coloured stones as well as diamonds. We’re also seeing a shift towards chunkier designs as well as the delicate fragility of the traditional.”
Adds James: “Vintage looks never really go out of style and we’ll also see more incorporation of ‘surprise’ diamonds, which are hidden beneath the band rather than on top. This gives different angles and sparkles to the piece.”
Uncertain outlook for 2023
Across the diamond market as a whole, James Sanders says, the outlook for 2023 is cautious optimism. James Sanders says: “We may be at the start of a new year, but there must be caution surrounding the likelihood of continued market uncertainty.”
A report on the diamond market by Rapaport underlines this general market uncertainty. James says: “Diamond trading dipped towards the end of 2022, partly due to a normal seasonal dip but also because of general uncertainty across the market.”
According to Rapaport, it’s not possible to simply predict the way the diamond market will go in 2023. And so, for an investor, caution should be the watchword. Trade tends to pick up as a new year starts, and we’ll see the impact of that over the next couple of months. This should then span out to impact trade around the world.”
Market going through cyclical changes
James Sanders also points out that rough diamond prices are falling as there is a lower demand for polished stones.
“The rough diamond market is undergoing what is partly a regular slowdown, explains James Sanders. “Throughout 2021 and the first half of 2022, demand remained high and this pushed prices up. However, in the second half of last year, consumer demand began to fall.
“In terms of lab grown diamonds, we’re also seeing a price fall as demand rises. In 2022, lab grown stones formed 10% of the global diamond market for the very first time, and I think that this trend will continue in 2023.”
Diamonds still a good investment decision
A separate report from the Gemmological Institute of America said in October 2022 that sales of lab diamonds will increase to be worth more than $100 billion over the next couple of years.
Explains James: “This part of the diamond industry is growing at around 15-20% every year. Whether you’re interested in lab grown or natural diamonds from an investor perspective, I would always argue that it’s a market worth investing in.
“Obviously, investing in diamonds is not about getting short term get rich quick returns. It’s the long game and you should expect prices to fluctuate every now and again. It takes a certain amount of risk awareness to invest in any luxury market sector, and diamonds are no different. But if you
are prepared to play the long game, then it’s absolutely worthwhile.”