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Published on 14/11/11
Michael Hill International, the jewellery chain that opened its first store in 1979 and is now listed on the NZX, is beginning to see a taste for more expensive and bigger stones.
Founder and current chairman Sir Michael Hill told shareholders at its annual meeting in Auckland today that almost 60 per cent of MHI's sales were diamond products.
''What we're finding is that our brand is actually changing from a transactional discounter to more of a brand - this is a long-term vision and a gradual process,'' he said.
''Diamonds are now the best part of our business. That's a colossal change in the last few years.''
The group has its own manufacturing division at it head office in Brisbane from which its diamond buyers source diamond roughs direct.
''We're also selling some significantly large diamond pieces,'' Sir Michael said.
A pair of rare supreme diamond earrings recently sold for $250,000.
''(Shortly) before that we sold a diamond ring with a particularly rare diamond for over $1 million...these are the things that we never did in the past.''
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