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Hong Kong International Jewellery Show Review
Sparkling Success

  Creativity is king at one of the world's top-three jewellery events
  Creativity is king at one of the
world's top three jewellery events
 
One of the world’s top three jewellery events treated participants to a glittering event that brought together thousands of exhibitors and an army of enthusiastic buyers from around the world.

The HKTDC Hong Kong International Jewellery Show 2011 (IJS) saw the welcome return of many of its regular participants, but there were also many fresh faces among the 2,800 exhibitors.

The new Hall of Chic, for example, hosted Marvel Jewelry Co Ltd from Thailand and its fine silver and high-quality Swiss-cut marcasite jewellery and other pieces featuring semi-precious and synthetic stones. Managing Director Maitri Kanburapa was pleased with his first experience of the fair. “We will certainly come again,” he enthused.

Also in the Hall of Chic was Mexican company Artemex SRL, which has exhibited at HKTDC’s Gifts and Premium fairs for the past seven years but decided to extend its reach by joining the exhibitors at the IJS this year.

The company produces a range of jewellery with real flowers captured in acrylic and set in silver, which already has a following in Asia and the US and has recently expanded into South and Central America. “We are very impressed with the organisation of the other HKTDC fairs and thought it was time to explore this fair,” said co-owner Lourdes Castaneda Axtola. “We have taken many orders and are very pleased with our experience here.”

Hong Kong’s Four Seasons Diamond Int’l Ltd is well-acquainted with the event, having attended the fair for 15 years with the diamond jewellery that accounts for 70% of its output and the Claudia Patrick-brand wristwatches with diamond-framed faces the comprises the rest.

“We use a specialised technique of micro pave´ using microscopes to set the diamonds in both our jewellery and watches, which results in very little of the metal being seen and enhances the sparkle of the stones,” explained Marketing Manager Euodias Zechariah.

Four Seasons’ fancy coloured diamonds from Israel have found favour with various US celebrities as well as members of the Malaysian royal family, but the company has decided to hold new designs for this season because the cost of gold for the settings is “currently very high”.

  Stunning designs are a fair feature
  Stunning designs are a fair feature
 
A design that captured much attention came from Hong Kong manufacturer WCJ Int’l Ltd, whose Designer Wong Kwok Kit won a Bronze award in the 8th International South Sea Pearl Jewellery Design Competition organised by the South Sea Pearl Consortium and sponsored by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.

“We have lots of buyers from around the world, so this fair is a good platform to invite these buyers to see our products,” said WCJ’s Marketing Manager Christine Chan. “Winning awards like this increases interest in our company.”

Buyers at the fair spoke equally highly of the event, with US e-tailer Gerald Tempton typical of those who commented that it was well-organised and well-presented – if extremely energetic. “It’s been very busy for us with lots of buying,” he said. “There are a lot of new designs and products here and very good price points, so we’re very optimistic.”

This year’s Hong Kong International Jewellery Show featured its first partner country, Italy, showcasing the creations that have made Italian jewellery design and manufacturing synonymous with quality at the ‘Jewels of Italy’ evening gala.

Later, more than 130 Italian companies came together at the Italian Pavilion to give buyers the opportunity to source the stylish and on-trend pieces for which Italian designers are rightly renowned.

One such company is Rome-based Anticoa SRL, which has a team of some 30 skilled craftsmen at its factory in Thailand according to co-owner and professional goldsmith Claudia Antico-Bleicher.

“We aim to produce something quite different and individual, for example incorporating antique fabrics sourced from Vietnam and pairing them with micro pearls or precious stones,” she said, also highlighting other pieces including striking cuff and earring designs that employ both gold and silver in fluid folds of metal.

Also producing exquisite and individual wearable art is Wang Yue-Yau Jewelry from Taiwan, which has its eyes firmly focused on the Chinese mainland market and launched a store in Beijing in April to complement its other outlet in Taipei.

  Hong Kong designers are renowned for their artistic flair.
  Hong Kong designers are renowned
for their artistic flair
 
Owner and designer Wang Yue Yau currently employs four master craftsmen at her Taipei workshop to work her designs, which are luxurious, finely detailed and frequently include Taiwanese coral and Burmese jade of the highest quality. “My ideas come from Chinese traditional art,” she revealed.

Browsers and buyers included US wholesaler Meredith Borowski, who had a clear target in mind when she decided to attend the world-class sourcing event that also offers excellent opportunities for networking as well as gaining valuable insights through various seminars hosted by industry leaders.

“We are looking for silver combined with crystal, cubic zirconia and diamonds for the US market,” she explained, while noting the volume of traffic through the fair. “There is a lot more energy at this fair – it’s been very good, very busy.”

Hong Kong company Siam Color Gems & Jewelry Ltd also reported receiving many enquiries from new customers. “We have a long history with our loyal customers, but regard this fair as a prime opportunity to introduce our designs to new customers,” said Marketing Manager Marisa Cheng.

Siam Color produces top-quality pieces incorporating stunning gemstones such as Burmese sapphires, emeralds and pigeon’s blood rubies, as well as lavender, yellow and red jade.

The company’s mid- to high-end pieces hold a particular appeal for Chinese customers from the mainland and Taiwan as well as from Southeast Asia, the US and Canada, but are quickly gaining popularity in Japan and India.

“The stones are rough-cut and polished in China and mounted in Hong Kong,” explained Ms Cheng. “Repeat orders are very difficult because we do not use moulds and every piece is handcrafted, which means that there is an element of uniqueness.”

The Hall of Nature positively dazzled with the sparkle of loose diamonds, precious stones and pearls courtesy of companies such as Hong Kong’s Shining Star, a manufacturer, wholesaler, importer and exporter of precious and semi-precious stones that was exhibiting for the fifth consecutive year.

The company sources its raw materials from Africa, India, Brazil and the Chinese mainland, cuts them at its factory in India and exports to Europe, the US, the mainland and Japan.

Some of the stones most in demand are rubylites, pink tourmalines, sapphires and moonstones, either faceted or as cabochons, noted President Navin Jain. “This is easily one of the best shows,” he said. “We’ll be back here next year.”

A sentiment no doubt shared by thousands of other exhibitors and buyers eager to bask in the sweet glow of sparkling success at the HKTDC Hong Kong International Jewellery Show.