U.S. buyers increasingly turn to handcrafted gem-set Thai jewelry, showcased at JCK Las Vegas 2019
By David Brough
LAS VEGAS, June 2019 – Thailand’s Showcase at JCK Las Vegas highlighted handcrafted silver and custom cut gem-set jewelry that is becoming increasingly sought-after in the U.S. market.
Thailand, with the support of the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), presented a pavilion at JCK Las Vegas, from May 31 to June 3, showing off the best of handcrafted Thai jewelry, notably custom cut gemstones.
Many of Thailand’s leading jewelry suppliers will exhibit at the 64th edition of the Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair, which will take place from September 10-14, 2019, celebrating the theme “Thailand’s Magic Hands: The Spirit of Jewelry Making”
Kwanapa Phivnil, Executive Director of Thai Trade Center, Los Angeles reveals that US market looks for jewelry that is outstanding both in quality and uniqueness and jewelry from Thailand can meet this expectation. “As we can see from the Thailand Pavilion at JCK Las Vegas this year, we have received high attention from the buyers, especially in the part of silver jewelry created by Thai craftsmen as well colored gemstone jewelry.”
“In addition, smart jewelry or jewelry that has technology combined are more interesting in US market. Thai craftsmen are already renowned for their sophistication and outstanding production skills. If they are able to combine beauty design with functionality into unique jewelry, it would make Thai jewelry brands more interesting and they could meet more needs of modern consumers,” she adds.
The manufacturers exhibiting in the Thailand Showcase at JCK Las Vegas all had their own handcrafted specialities.
“We cut mother-of-pearl piece by piece and we do intricate mosaic and inlay work,” said Katapon Lervisit, a director of Nida Factory, a Bangkok-based manufacturer of silver and pearl jewelry at JCK Las Vegas.
“For us craftsmanship is the most important thing: we do everything by hand.
“Our U.S. buyers look for great value and exceptional quality. Many types of buyers come to us, from department stores, shops and TV shopping channels.”
Silver jewelry from Thailand is a major U.S. import, accounting for $553 million by value in 2018, up 9.3 percent from the previous year.
Another Thai exhibitor at JCK Las Vegas was Formica (Th) Co, which supplies silver jewelry and a wide variety of synthetic stones.
“Because of Thailand’s reputation for craftsmanship, a lot of stones come to Thailand,” said Alexander Lee, Formica sales executive.
“We get a lot of interest from buyers who are jewelry manufacturers located across the Americas wishing to produce color variety.”
Bangkok-based Bella Jewelry Factory produces custom cut gemstones, crafted by around 15 artisans, set in gold and silver jewelry that is greatly in demand by U.S. jewelry designers.
“We work closely and very well with designers. We adapt to their requirements. Some 60 percent of Bella’s production is sold to the United States,” said Director Chaiyanan Suwanamas.
Key Gems, another JCK exhibitor, which prides itself on cutting gemstones by hand, is seeing buoyant U.S. demand for its 18-carat gold jewelry set with rubies and sapphires, said sales executive Sally Choksoontornlert.
Thailand is the number 1 source of polished rubies, sapphires, emeralds and other gemstones to the U.S. market, accounting for $303 million by value in 2018, up 24.57 percent from the previous year.
Vatana has consistently sold its contemporary fine custom cut gem-set jewelry to the U.S. market, having exhibited at JCK every year for the past two decades, said company owner Theeravat Kanokkul.
He said he can supply gold jewelry, depending on a customer’s requirements, in 18-, 14-, or 10-carat.
Plan your business and leisure time when you visit Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair during September 10-14, 2019 at: https://www.bkkgems.com/