Two major jewellery shows organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) will open next week. The sixth HKTDC Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show, which showcases jewellery raw materials, will take place at AsiaWorld-Expo from 26 Feb to 2 March, while the 36th HKTDC Hong Kong International Jewellery Show, which specialises in finished fine jewellery, will be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) in Wan Chai from 28 Feb to 4 March.
This year, the two shows will feature a record of more than 4,600 exhibitors from 48 countries and regions, once again forming the world’s largest jewellery marketplace.
Jewellery exports grow 13.3% in 2018, but challenging year ahead
HKTDC Acting Executive Director Benjamin Chau said: “Though the Sino-US trade conflict has been looming large over all sectors and industries, Hong Kong exports of fine jewellery showed healthy growth of 13.3% year on year to reach HK$57 billion in 2018. Exports to the United States, Hong Kong’s largest jewellery export market, were particularly robust, growing by 18.1%.” However, Mr Chau pointed out that the single-month figure for December showed the total value of fine jewellery exports falling 12% year on year, indicating that the impact of the Sino-US trade conflict on exports is beginning to be felt. Compounded by other unfavourable factors such as escalating geopolitical conflicts, Mr Chau reminded businesses to be ready for a potential slowdown in global economic growth in 2019.
Buying missions organised to help address economic uncertainty
Mr Chau added that economic uncertainties led to the total value of Hong Kong’s exports of jewellery raw materials, including pearls, gems and semi-gems, declining by 17.6% in 2018, although there was still satisfactory growth in some major markets, including Mainland China (+8%), Belgium (+19.2%) and Israel (+24.4%). “To help the industry grasp more business opportunities, the HKTDC will organise 120 buying missions, comprising more than 8,200 companies from 75 countries and regions, to visit the shows this year,” Mr Chau explained. “These companies will consist of department stores, speciality shops, chain stores and online stores, with 700 coming from the US and 5,700 companies visiting from emerging markets. This will help the industry expand into emerging markets to deal with the unstable global economy.”
Worldwide support from industry bodies and jewellery associations
The two shows continue to receive support from industry organisations and jewellery associations from around the world. A total of 38 pavilions, including those from Australia, Mainland China, France, Germany, Italy, Myanmar, India and the US, will set up group pavilions at the shows. Various jewellery organisations will continue to set up their own pavilions, including ACODES from Colombia, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, International Coloured Gems Association, Israel Diamond Institute, New York Diamond Dealers Club, Tanzanite Foundation and the Gem & Jewellery Trade Association of Thailand, among others.
The Avenue of Jewellery Creators will be set up at the Jewellery Show by the Asia Pacific Creator Association for the first time, introducing jewellery designs created by Hong Kong and mainland designers. Also new at the Jewellery Show are pavilions from Mexico and Indonesia, while groups from Donghai in Jiangsu province and Dongguan in Guangdong province will debut as exhibitors. The Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show will welcome the participation of the Australian Opal Association and the Beihai Bureau of Commerce from the mainland for the first time, broadening the show’s international outlook.
Japan as first-time partner country to showcase rare pearls
With support from the Japan External Trade Organisation and the Consulate-General of Japan in Hong Kong, the HKTDC is collaborating with the Japan Pearl Exporters’ Association and the Japan Pearl Promotion Society to invite Japan as this year’s partner country for the first time. A Japan Pearl Jewellery Pavilion and a Japan Pearl Pavilion will be set up at the Jewellery Show and the Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show respectively, featuring some 130 exhibitors. The two major Japanese pearl organisations will also host a media event on the first day of the Jewellery Show (28 Feb) to introduce exquisite pearl jewellery from Japan.
Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show runs from 26 February to 2 March
This is the sixth straight year that the HKTDC has run the two shows in parallel in separate venues. The Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show, which specialises in the raw materials used in the jewellery industry, will be held at AsiaWorld-Expo. The show is organised into different themed zones, including the Hall of Fine Diamonds, which showcases prime quality diamonds of different shapes, cuts, grades and rare colours. The Treasures of Nature zone displays various glittering precious gemstones, semi-precious gems and other natural raw materials, while the Treasures of Ocean zone houses the highest quality pearls from Tahiti, the South Seas and other pearl-producing areas around the world.
Among the impressively large number of special exhibits on display are:
Hong Kong company Novel Collection Ltd (Booth No: AWE 2-Q01) will feature a pear-shaped, pink-coloured 5.01-carat diamond with unique cutting valued at HK$46.8 million.
Swiss exhibitor Theilkas GmbH (Booth No: AWE 1-A05) will present pearls from Caribbean queen conches. Characterised by a unique flame effect, pink conch pearls are one of the world’s most precious pearl types.
Shaun Gems International (Booth No: AWE 1-A16) from the United States will display a matched pair of natural sapphires of vivid blue colour, weighing a total of 27.76 carats and valued at more than HK$3 million.
Jewellery Show runs from 28 Feb to 4 March
The Jewellery Show, which opens on Thursday (28 Feb), will feature a wide array of finished jewellery and exquisite craftsmanship. A total of 38 renowned jewellery brands will converge at the Hall of Fame to showcase their collections. Returning brand names include Lao Feng Xiang from the mainland, Japan’s Kuwayama and Italy’s Giorgio Visconti, while new exhibitors include Hong Kong’s Asia Star, Japan’s Kawamura, Russia’s Kabarovsky and the UK’s JT Jewellery Theatre.
The Hall of Extraordinary will display skillfully crafted, valuable and unique jewellery pieces from some 100 companies, including:
Hong Kong’s Jadmily Jewelery (Booth No: CEC GH-B05) will feature a jade necklace valued at HK$64 million. The oval centre stone of the necklace is a jadeite cabochon extracted from a top-tier ancient mine in Myanmar. The warm, smooth touch of elegance is illuminated with dazzling diamonds. The centre stone weighs 51.48g.
Foo Hang Jewellery of Hong Kong (Booth No: CEC GH-D16) will showcase a diamond jewellery set worth more than HK$13 million. The centrepiece of the set is a marquise shaped diamond of 10.04 carats valued at over HK$8 million. The rare marquise cut is testament to the superb craftsmanship that makes the diamond even more dazzling.
One of the exhibits of Hong Kong company Belford Jewellery (Booth No: CEC CH-L01) is its “Lava Collection”. One of the jewellery pieces in this collection is an orange-red Mexican fire opal that is uniquely set against a number of coloured diamonds to imitate flowing lava. The piece is valued at HK$345,000.
Another Hong Kong company, Famous Group Ltd (Booth No: CEC GH-G05), will display a sapphire diamond set valued at over HK$10 million. The sapphire stones, with a total weight of more than 180 carats, are adorned with 128 carats of diamonds to bring out the elegance.
The IT Solutions for Jewellery zone that debuted last year will return to help buyers boost their competitiveness by tapping into the latest technologies for use in the designing, manufacturing, quality monitoring and selling of jewellery. The new Amber Jewellery zone is introduced to address the growing market demand, while other themed zones include Antique & Vintage Jewellery Galleria, Designer Galleria, Hall of Jade Jewellery, Treasures of Craftsmanship, Hall of Time, Wedding Bijoux and World of Glamour. In the Hall 3E entrance of the Jewellery Show, supported by Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group, the “ARTRIUM” will showcase the company’s unique collection of precious jewellery.
Networking activities to facilitate business exchange
A host of activities and events, including jewellery parades, networking sessions, buyer/exhibitor forums and seminars, will be held during the shows to facilitate business exchange. One key event is the cocktail reception and Jewellery Gala Dinner held on the first day of the Jewellery Show (28 Feb). The theme for the gala dinner will be “Dionysus”, after the Greek god of wine, with a menu personally prepared by Edward Voon, Executive Chef of French restaurant LE PAN. The dinner will be attended by actresses Carat Cheung and Toby Chan. The award presentation ceremony for the biennial International Jewellery Design Excellence Award − often referred to as the “Oscars of the jewellery industry” − will be held during the cocktail reception, with the “Champion of the Champions” being announced.
During the show period, the HKTDC will stage demonstrations of jewellery craftsmanship and themed seminars to update industry players on the latest market trends, production technologies and product styles. For example, experts from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) will conduct a seminar on “Fancy-coloured Melee Diamonds and their Identification” (26 Feb). The HKTDC will also hold a jewellery industry forum on 1 March covering topics such as the forecasting of jewellery trends, how jewellery design software will revolutionise the design of jewellery products, and insights into the impact of 4K 3D printing technologies and mobile commerce, with a representative from Tencent explaining how artificial intelligence and big data can be used to increase sales. Other seminar topics include the latest developments in the internationalisation of the Fei Cui standard (2 March), observations on sapphires from Mogok, Myanmar (3 March), and gemology studies and market analysis of Myanmar rubies (3 March). Details can be found on the show websites.
In addition, to identify design talents for the industry and demonstrate the high calibre of Hong Kong jewellery designers to international buyers, the HKTDC has joined hands with four local jewellery industry bodies to organise the 20th Hong Kong Jewellery Design Competition. The theme of the competition this year is “Be Connected, Be United”, attracting around 200 quality entries. The finalists’ designs will be on display in the Hall 1D lobby of the HKCEC during the show period.
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To make it convenient for buyers to visit both shows, a complimentary shuttle bus service will be provided by the HKTDC between AsiaWorld-Expo and downtown (including the HKCEC in Wan Chai). Please visit the show websites for details.