By Christie Dang •
11 November 2019
The three-day fair, held from August 28 to 30 at the Tokyo Big Sight Exhibition Center, was organised by Informa Markets in partnership with the Japan Jewellery Association.
More than 14,000 visitors and 400 exhibitors from Japan and other regions and countries gathered in Tokyo for the Japan Jewellery Fair 2019, with some trade fair participants saying that buyer turnout and onsite business were “better than expected.”
The three-day show, held from August 28 to 30 at the Tokyo Big Sight Exhibition Center, was organised by Informa Markets in partnership with the Japan Jewellery Association.
Hideo Tanaka, sales director at Riz Jewelry Co Ltd, said he anticipated a quiet fair owing to an overall gloomy market sentiment. “We did not expect much but traffic on the first day was good. We were busy with customers throughout the whole fair,” noted Tanaka.
Riz Jewelry exhibited at the Japan Pearl Pavilion, which occupied 2,000 square metres and featured a wide range of high-quality pearls and pearl jewellery produced in Japan.
“We've entertained many buyers from China and realised numerous business deals with them. A lot of the new buyers are young traders whose passion and energy injected positive vibe into the industry,” continued Tanaka.
Japan-made pearls have always been highly sought after by worldwide buyers, Chinese in particular, even at trade fairs outside of Japan. “In Japan, buyers are mostly businessmen aged 50 to 60 years old. The goods that they purchase are very different from those selected by young Chinese ladies who visit our booth at international fairs,” added Tanaka.
Yasukazu Suwa, chairman of Tokyo-based Suwa & Son Inc, said educating buyers and promoting fine jewellery in the right way are crucial to the long-term development of the jewellery industry. B2B exhibitions, he added, are effective platforms to achieve this purpose.
The company shone the spotlight on its Uncut Diamond collection at the JJF. According to Suwa, the collection has been around for more than 10 years and is one of the company's core offerings.
“The value of natural diamonds can further be appraised. These unique jewellery pieces can last for generations,” he stated.
Suwa & Son offered limited collections in platinum and 18-karat gold with prices ranging from US$3,000 per piece up to hundreds of thousands, depending on the quality of the gem. “The local market in Japan has been moderately quiet for a number of years. Stability is a crucial element to the long-term, sustainable development of Japan's market. We are happy with the feedback from the fair. We will continue to stay focused on what we do best,” Suwa said.
Fascinating Japanese jewellery designs, which are highly appreciated by buyers from around the globe, also took centre stage at JJF. Among the designers at the fair was Mitsuhiro Matsuda of Giono Co Ltd. Matsuda has over 43 years of experience in the jewellery industry, with an extensive exposure in the European market. He started his own brand more than 20 years ago, demonstrating cross-cultural artistry. Matsuda's customers are mainly jewellery collectors who appreciate one-of-a-kind designs.
“We used to focus on the Japanese market. About four years ago, we started selling overseas. The response from Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and other Asian countries has so far been satisfactory,” Matsuda said.
At this year's fair, Matsuda showcased collections featuring natural coloured gemstones and pearls. Majority of the materials were rare gems collected by Matsuda throughout the decades. “All of my jewellery pieces are handmade, paying homage to Japanese culture with a touch of a colourful and vibrant European style. Many of my customers are learned collectors in their 40s and 50s. At this year's fair, some young visitors aged around 20 to 30 years old also showed interest in our collections,” he said.