Some of the world’s major manufacturers and suppliers of diamonds, coloured gemstones and pearls, and established jewellery ateliers and brands dazzled thousands of professional buyers with their extensive range of goods at the third edition of the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show and the 33rd edition of the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show. The twin fairs brought together some 4,380 exhibitors from 54 countries and regions, and drew more than 80,000 buyers from 147 countries and regions – an increase of 5.4 percent over the previous year’s shows, according to trade fair organiser, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).
“Despite global economic challenges, the two shows continued to attract local and overseas buyers,” Benjamin Chau, deputy executive director of HKTDC, said in a media release. “This demonstrates the international significance of the two shows, which form the world’s largest jewellery marketplace, reinforcing Hong Kong’s position as a proven global sourcing hub for the industry.”
Ronsong Fung of Noble Jewellery Ltd said fancy yellow diamonds moved fast during the March Hong Kong Fair.
“The increase in demand for fancy yellow diamonds started in 2012 and we see this trend continuing in the next couple of years,” Fung said. “Buyers from the US and Europe, even the Russian market, were the primary growth drivers.”
Customers were mostly looking for 1-carat stones and below. Fung said the company met with new customers from South America during the show.
“The most critical thing is to diversify our markets especially in the face of a tough business environment. We are doing quite well in South America and we want to pursue this opportunity,” Fung noted.
Fancy coloured diamond specialist Leibish & Co Ltd of Israel, meanwhile, showcased an expansive range of Argyle pink diamonds at the fair. According to company president Leibish Polnauer, consumers remain keen on purchasing top-quality pink diamonds despite high prices.
“The hottest items in this year’s show are pink diamonds, especially Argyle pink diamonds. This is what the market wants; the colour of the stone has become more relevant than the price,” noted Polnauer. “The general sentiment is quite optimistic. I don’t think the market will deteriorate any further.”
The fastest-moving products were diamonds of half a carat to 90 pointers, he added. The diamond expert also cited increased demand for multi-coloured items such as rubies, sapphires and other coloured gemstones.
Sheetal Manufacturing Co Pvt Ltd, one of India’s major diamond manufacturers, said it anticipates steady demand for top-quality diamonds, fuelled largely by renewed confidence in the trade as buyers replenish their inventories.
Chirag Kakadia, director of Sheetal, said his company presented a wide range of white, brown, yellow and other fancy coloured goods from 0.01 carat to 4 carats at the show. “Business has so far been good for us; the sentiment is improving. This is a good sign for the diamond industry,” Kakadia said on the second day of the AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE) fair. He added that the company interacted with new clients from China and Belgium.
“Apart from our premium products, we consider constant innovation and top-quality customer service among our competitive advantages,” Kakadia continued.
Prism Group unveiled several diamond jewellery collections at the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show. According to company managing director Zulu Ghevriya, the collections featured exciting design and colour elements including black-and-white colour combinations, structural pieces and geometric designs.
Ghevriya is confident of a strong showing for his company in 2016, pointing to a positive start to the year buoyed by robust demand from the US, its top market.
“I believe the American market will show even more promise this year. The US sales figures are positive, with retailers showing growth. The global economy was struggling in 2015 and that impacted negatively on the jewellery business. Things are settling down and jewellers all over the world are adjusting to the economic realities. Everyone is seeking new collections at suitable price points so they can stimulate business,” he explained.
Prism Group’s treated fancy coloured diamond business also enjoyed a steady start at the AWE fair. Speaking on the second day of the show, Ghevriya reported buyers coming with specific demands. Stones of 1 to 2 carats were particularly sought after, he added. “The Chinese market is still active right now when it comes to our diamonds,” Ghevriya said.
J.B. And Brothers Pvt Ltd turned the spotlight on round and fancy-shaped diamonds from 0.5 carat to 5 carats and higher in the D to N colour range and FL to SI clarity grades at the fair. It also offered various fancy coloured diamonds.
J.B. And Brothers has been manufacturing, importing and exporting cut and polished diamonds since 1973. It has its headquarters in Mumbai and an ultra-modern manufacturing facility in Surat, India.
Rahul Jain of Germany-based Caram eK said his team was “positively surprised at the level of activity” at the fair.
“Given the slowdown in China, we were bracing ourselves for a quiet show. The number of Chinese visitors held up well compared with last year’s fair. Overall, the show was good for us,” Jain said.
Asked what were Caram’s top-performing goods at the show, he replied, “Colombian emeralds did exceptionally well for us. We have a reputation for having well-cut, good-quality stones at reasonable prices. Customers appreciated our selection of goods and rewarded us with good business during the fair. Prices have held steady and the demand for quality-cut stones remains strong for us.”
Jain continued, “During the March Hong Kong Show, we were able to do business with several new buyers, including some whom we have met before but hadn’t been able to do business with. We hope this is a positive sign for the rest of the year.”
Founded by Raj Jain in 1975 in Idar-Oberstein, Caram’s extensive diamond and gemstone procurement network allows it to deliver an exceptional collection of goods, including rare and important gemstones, to discerning buyers, Jain said.
C.F. Arnoldi GmbH, also based in Idar-Oberstein, presented in Hong Kong a large collection of top-quality stones in sets, pairs and singles. Leading the company’s product offerings were aquamarine, tourmaline in all colours including Paraiba, beryl, mandarin garnet and tanzanite, among others.
“C.F. Arnoldi is known for its expertise in cutting multi-coloured gemstones, resulting in captivating shapes and appearance,” the company said. Established more than a century ago, C.F. Arnoldi’s coloured gemstone cutting factory in Idar-Oberstein has built an enviable track record in the gemstone manufacturing industry.
Gemstone cutter Alexander Kreis of German jeweller Sonja Kreis highlighted at the fair a 332.24-carat Imperial topaz that has been certified as rare by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
In an interview, Kreis said the stone, dubbed as “Imperial Flame,” features gradating hues of cherry-red from the top to intense pink, orange and yellow tones. “This stone has gained a lot of attention from potential buyers in the US, China and Brazil. It is the largest of its quality in the world,” noted Kreis.
According to GIA, topaz stones that might fall into the range of colours the trade refers to as “imperial” would be orange, orangey-pink or orangey-red but stones that are predominantly red are most unusual.
A broad range of loose pearls and finished pearl jewellery graced the display windows of Gyso Pearls & Jewellery Ltd of Hong Kong. According to the company, the main attraction was a fresh collection of Tahitian pearl jewellery accented with diamonds.
Established in 2002, Gyso Pearls has aggressively diversified its portfolio of loose pearls and finished pearl jewellery from freshwater pearls to Tahitian, South Sea, and Chinese and Japanese Akoya pearls.
“The March Hong Kong Fair is a specialised trading platform for loose pearls and other gemstones. It gives us the opportunity to strengthen business ties with our loyal customers and meet potential clients as well,” the company said.
Heng Bo Pearl Group Ltd offered an expansive array of freshwater, Tahitian and Akoya pearl jewellery in 925 sterling silver or K-gold, and accented by coloured gemstones. The company is targeting buyers from Eastern Europe, Japan, North America, the US and the UK.
“We offer a wide variety of products to buyers all over the world. Our aim is to provide goods of the highest quality. We understand our customers’ preferences and we are happy to be able to meet them satisfactorily,” noted Heng Bo Pearl.
Heng Bo Pearl is a major manufacturer and exporter of pearls in Hong Kong, backed by decades of experience in the pearl business. It set up an office in Hong Kong in 2002 and started exporting its products worldwide. Its major products are pearl strands, loose pearls and 925 sterling silver jewellery pieces.
At the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show, Noble Jewellery launched a collection of fine jewellery in casual and subtle designs meant especially for the Russian market.
The jeweller also recently recruited a Russian salesperson who is in charge of dealing with Russian buyers. At the show, Fung cited a considerable increase in the number of Russian customers from Moscow.
Pansy Kong of Perfect Jewellery of Hong Kong said the company presented new and classic designs at the fair.
The company was able to network with customers from the Middle East and Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia, according to Kong. She also noted an increase in the number of US buyers at the show, compared to last year.
“We made business with both old and new customers. The US market is definitely showing signs of recovery,” the company official added. “US buyers usually look for smaller-sized fine jewellery in classic designs.”
Kong also said the jewellery manufacturer’s main focus has always been to provide top-quality goods and services to its key markets. “We hope that our initial public offering in December 2015 would strengthen our customers’ confidence in our company and our products,” she said.