The Japan Jewellery Fair 2018 provided a platform to highlight Japan’s well-deserved reputation for ingenious and high-quality jewellery. The country’s dynamic retail market also enticed many Asian jewellers to participate in the three-day exhibition.
The Japan Jewellery Fair (JJF) 2018, organised by UBM Japan Co Ltd and the Japan Jewellery Association (JJA), gathered more than 450 exhibitors and a total of 14,293 buyers at the Tokyo Big Sight Exhibition Center from August 28 to 30.
The fair had several theme sections, including the Fashion Jewellery Collection, Bridal Jewellery Zone, Japan Pearl Pavilion, Quality Design Zone, Designers & Craftsmen Pavilion, and the Machinery & Equipment, Packaging & Related Service Pavilion as well as national and group pavilions. This year’s JJF also introduced the Million Dollar Club project, which enabled exhibitors to showcase their one-of-a-kind masterpieces to buyers seeking unique jewellery creations for their exclusive clients. The fair organisers also arranged a series of seminars alongside the exhibition and displayed the winning pieces of the JJA Jewellery Design Awards 2018 at the show.
Mihara Pearl Co Ltd, a Japanese supplier of high-quality pearls, observed that the fair had been attracting more Chinese buyers in recent years. Where local companies used to constitute the bulk of JJF’s visitors, Chinese buyers now account for around a third of the company’s clients at the fair. "Japanese and Chinese buyers have distinctive preferences. Most Chinese buyers focus on the quality of the pearls and often require a certificate, while Japanese buyers are generally more price-conscious," the company said.
When it comes to Akoya pearls, the high-grade, blue-tone "Madara," which is growing in popularity among Chinese buyers, remained among the most sought-after categories at the fair. Many Japanese buyers, for their part, preferred the pinkish "sakura red" variant, Mihara Pearl continued.
Thai jewellery brand Beawelry made its JJF debut this year. According to Marketing Director Nattapon Maneepairoj, the brand was launched three years ago after the company, which has been in jewellery production for over two decades, saw potential for growth in the retail market. JJF marked its first overseas event to find potential partners in the global market.
Diamond jewellery in 18-karat gold and silver designs with cubic zirconia and coloured gemstones comprise Beawelry’s major collections. The brand’s retail prices range from US$250 to US$1,000 per piece. The company has obtained a patent for its adorable bear-design logo, Maneepairoj added.
In the designer area, Yuki Aoki showcased her MeiNu brand, which was established three years ago. The brand consists of fine jewellery pieces with jade and pearls for daily wear, and is aimed at a more mature audience. "Not many Japanese jewellery designers specialise in jade jewellery, but many mature Japanese women are partial to the gem. They believe that wearing jade items can help calm the nerves. Small jewellery pieces as well as necklaces that combine jade with pearls are especially popular among this group of customers," the