If You Stop Calling them Brown and Call Them Champagne Instead- They'll Sell at a Premium

The history of how THE MVEye worked with the Argyle Diamond mine of Australia to introduce Champagne Diamonds to the jewelry consumer and trade is legend. Here's the inside story...

In 1989 THE MVEye, then a small start up working out of our apartment in Los Angeles, ran a quarter page ad in a trade magazine called Jewelry News Asia. The black and white print page ad (which we couldn't afford) was targeted at jewelry manufacturers, designers and brands based in the Pacific Rim. Written over a sketch map of the USA was the headline "Do You Want More Sales Out of the Lucrative USA Fine Jewelry Market?" And the call to action followed: Fax MVI Now with our number.

Brilliant eh?

And it worked. Except we forgot one thing. All of the Pacific Rim was reading that ad in another time zone. We were getting 20-30 faxes a night, in the middle of the night in our little apartment, for one month straight.

Most of the inquiries came from companies that couldn't afford to pay us anything and eventually my wife and partner (Liz Chatelain) stopped waking up to read them. But I didn't. 

And then on day (or rather night) a fax came in from the Argyle Mine in Australia! I woke Liz with my screaming. "Do you know who these guys are?" I said. I knew all about them from my GIA training and I was over the moon with the possibilities.

The next day we had an intro call. The next week they flew to LA to meet us and within a month we began the research and development of the Champagne Diamond campaign for Argyle. An engagement that lasted some 20 years for THE MVEye and propelled Argyle (and Rio Tinto) into becoming one of the first diamond mining companies to separate out from the DeBeers Central Selling Organization and develop their own sales channel.

So how and why did the Champagne Diamond campaign succeed? Stay tune for more to come...





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