COMMENTARY – Traffic quality up at Hong Kong show against backdrop of protests
By Pooja Agarwal
HONG KONG, China SAR, October 2019 – The quality of buying was strong despite a fall in the number of visitors to the September 16-22 Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, against a backdrop of pro-democracy protests.
“Jewellery & Gem World Hong Kong remains the ultimate meeting place for the global jewellery industry,” said David Bondi, Senior Vice President – Asia at Informa Markets.
“What’s happening in Hong Kong now and the uncertainties in the global economy are affecting us in a certain way.
“Visitor turnout was down but traffic quality was up. We did receive positive compliments from exhibitors and high-quality visitors who engaged in serious trading at the show.”
The September Fair is the biggest and the last global jewellery sourcing event of the year for serious buyers.
Hong-Kong based Aspire Designs
“No one can afford to miss the opportunity to generate much-needed revenues during the Christmas and New Year season,” said Celine Lau, Director of Jewellery Fairs at Informa Markets.
Exhibitor, Smit Virani COO of Hini Star, voiced the same opinion: “The show, due to uncertainty, saw a downfall in visitors compared to a year ago. Nonetheless, the visitors who attended the exhibition were serious buyers and purchases occurred, but at certain price points.”
Diamond & Gemstones Trends
There is a trend towards the use of various unique cuts and colours in diamond jewellery.
The popular Asscher cut is selling well and coloured diamonds are enjoying an increase in demand.
New cuts were introduced to keep the diamond buyer engaged.
“To offer unique diamond cuts to the end-consumer, we launched ‘The Optica Series’ with three new diamond cuts, which saw a lot of hype, giving us positive results,” says Virani of Hini Star.
Vikar Ahmed of Vikar Ahmed Fine Gemstones of Germany, said buyers inquired mostly about his aquamarines and Paraiba tourmalines.
Exhibitor Shanghai Kimberlite Diamond Group from China with over 700 shops, presented elaborate necklace sets.
One such is the Droplet Delight, which forms an eye-catching cluster of diamond paved raindrops.
This set draws its inspiration from the renowned poem “Pleasant Rain on a Spring Night” by Du Fu, one of the epoch-defining poets of the Tang Dynasty.
The poem reads: “A good rain knows when to visit. It doesn’t befall the earth until spring arrives. Letting itself in over the night in the company of winds, it moistens everything without a sound.”
Besides haute joaillerie, more affordable options for a different, younger consumer were also a popular trend at the show.
“There is a requirement to engage the new generation in jewellery purchases,” says David Shah, CEO of Hong Kong-based Aspire Designs. His company launched designs targeting the millennials.
At the JNA Conference on Jewellery Design, designer Alessio Boschi stressed the importance of creating a signature look while remaining open to new influences, materials and market requirements.
“Our mission as jewellery designers is to make people dream. In my particular case, I see no point in making ordinary, commercial and deja vu jewellery. My creative process starts with the inspiration, the story behind every single collection I make – that is the soul of each single piece,” Boschi said.
Macau-based CHioFo Jewelry
Shanghai Kimberlite DIamond Group