JEWELLERY EDITORIAL

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2014/10/20

It’s difficult for me to believe but Amber, the prehistoric tree resin that is used for jewellery and art objects in the Baltic region, now costs more than gold. The reason is China is buying as much rough amber as possible, driving up the price to unheard of levels, and using it to make inexpensive jewellery to sell inside its borders.

 

This escalation in its price has had a detrimental impact on low-end market for amber. This means, in order to diversify its jewellery exports, the Polish jewellery industry has turned to the creativity and originality of its top jewellery designers to distinguish itself in the international marketplace. Poland also is looking to other materials, such as silver, as it is already the world’s second largest producer of silver jewellery. Many of these designers primarily work with silver, gold and other metals.

 

   
3D necklace made of oxidized and gold-plated silver by Alicia Jakub Wyganowscy. Photo by Anthony DeMarco  

Bracelet made with exotic wood, silver and gold by SzwedDesign
 

  Amber and silver firefly resting on a piece of amber by Malgorzata Wasowska Jewellery Company

 

At the recently concluded Gold Silver and Time tradeshow in Warsaw, which I attended, several designers were featured in a special exhibit that coincided with the 25 year anniversary of Poland’s Solidarity movement. Tradeshow officials also dedicated about 60 exhibit spaces to these designers at a discounted price. That’s a significant number considering the tradeshow hosted a little more than 300 exhibitors.

 

“The young people are creating jewellery that is interesting and different … very creative,” says Rafał Galimski, president of the MCT International Fair Centre, co-organizer of the trade fair. “We try to help them with the 60 stands.”

 

One of the selling points of Polish jewellery design (in addition to originality, design and craftsmanship) is value. The Polish currency, the Zolty, is worth about 25 percent of what the euro is worth. Poland’s largest jewellery markets for designer jewellery are Germany, China, Italy and the US.

 

Many of the designs combine a modern aesthetic with a unique artistic perspective from being isolated from the rest of the world during the Soviet occupation. In fact, the approach of many of the designers is artistic rather than market driven.

Colorful cuffs by Marcin Zaremski

 

“Poland is a post-Soviet country,” said Warsaw-based Marcin Zaremski, the veteran of seven jewellery designers who presented their works to reporters. “We didn’t have the formal education, so we had a lot of artists that created jewellery. I think we developed in that direction very well.”

Amber and silver "Dragon" ring by Jacek Ostrowski

 

A younger designer who is getting international attention is Jacek Ostrowski from the northern Polish city of Gdansk. He works with silver, colored acrylic, crystal Swarovski Elements, and of course, Baltic amber.

 

Pendant necklace made with layers of amber and driftwood by Marta Wlodarska of Amberwood

 

Meanwhile, Marta Wlodarska of Amberwood is a purist. As amber is fossilized tree resin, she chooses to create jewellery by pairing the material, sometimes in its natural state, with driftwood from the same beaches of the Baltic Sea where amber is found. However, she doesn’t shy away from using more exotic woods, such as African ebony, brick-red Padouk, and violet Amaranth.

 

There is plenty of creative talent in Poland. The industry needs to work harder to let the world know.

 

 


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2014/10/16

The 32nd September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, the world’s number one fine jewellery event, was concluded with record-breaking figures: 3,695 exhibitors from 49 countries and regions and 59,116 buyers from 157 countries and regions with a remarkable growth of 12-percent. 

The September Fair occupied up to 135,000 square metres of exhibition space spanning two world-class venues - the AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE) and the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). The AWE housed exhibitors of raw materials including diamonds, loose gemstones, pearls and equipment and packaging, while the HKCEC housed exhibits of finished fine jewellery.

Today, the September Fair is the most influential business-to-business jewellery trade event where the most engaged jewellers in the industry access premium quality buyers. It is the ultimate platform for lobbying and agenda-setting for the industry, and for discovering the products and ideas that excite the jewellery market. Moreover, it brings global players together for a thoughtful dialogue,’ said Celine Lau, director of Jewellery Fairs, UBM Asia.

September Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair 2014 - Traffic at the Registration Counter September Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair 2014 - Traffic at the Registration Counter

Ms Lau continued, ‘Demand for diamonds and gemstones were robust. The 17-percent growth in visitor numbers from Asia compared to last year’s edition tells us that the region continues to be the key driver in the world’s jewellery market. Response to the September Fair has been overwhelming; buyers from the Middle East have increased by about 25%, India has increased by about 24 percent and mainland China up by about 23 percent. We also noticed growth in the number of buyers from other markets, including Africa about 19%, North America about 12% and Europe about 6%.’ 

59, 116 unique visitors were recorded over the seven-day event, driving more than 131, 700 visits between the two venues. Around 30 percent (17, 079) of the crowd was Hong Kong based visitors while 42, 037 visitors were coming from the overseas. The top ten visiting countries and regions were Mainland China (18, 310), Hong Kong (17, 079), India (3, 867), the United States (2, 211), Taiwan Region (1, 776), Thailand (1,768), Japan (1, 466), the Philippines (1, 093), Korea (1, 075) and Indonesia (920). 

Business during September Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair Examining the Gemstones during September Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair
Traffic  in Japan Pavilion during September Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair Special Events during September Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair

View more pictures from the picture gallery

During the September Fair , eight seminars, one diamond auction, one pearl auction and some special events, six conferences were held at AWE and HKCEC. The next edition of the September Fair will be taken place from 16 to 22 September 2015. (16-20 September 2015: AsiaWorld-Expo • Hong Kong;18 - 22 September 2015: Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre )

Read the full report here

Upcoming Fairs 

September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair 2015 

16 - 20 September 2015, AsiaWorld-Expo • Hong Kong
Exhibits profile: diamonds, gemstones, pearls, equipment & packaging

18 - 22 September 2015, Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre
Exhibits profile: fine finished jewellery

The September edition of Asia's Fashion Jewellery & Accessories Fair will again be held in conjunction with the September Fair, running for four days at AsiaWorld-Expo from 16 to 19 September 2015.

June Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair 2015 

The June Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair will be held from 25 – 28 June 2015 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre. 

Mineral & Gem Asia 2015

The first edition of Mineral & Gem Asia, a comprehensive trade fair organised by UBM Asia, will be held from 27 to 30 June 2015 at AsiaWorld-Expo. The Fair is positioned as an international trading platform for suppliers and buyers from fields of geology, mineralogy, architecture, interior design and the arts. It is expected to attract gallery and museum curators, loose gem traders and private collectors, among others. Exhibitors will offer a wide variety of rough and polished gemstones, fossils, decorative and ancient stones, art pieces and rough, loose, semi- & fully finished mineral products. 

Other important jewellery fairs organised by UBM Asia

CHINA, MAINLAND


Hangzhou International Jewellery & Gem Fair
Dates: 21 – 24 November 2014
Venue: Zhejiang World Trade International Exhibition Center

China International Gold, Jewellery & Gem Fair – Shanghai
Dates: 6 – 9 November 2014              
Venue: Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center

China International Gold, Jewellery & Gem Fair – Shenzhen
Dates: April 2015     
Venue: Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center

SINGAPORE   


Singapore Jewellery & Gem Fair   
Dates: 23 – 26 October 2014                           
Venue: Marina Bay Sands, Singapore    

TAIWAN REGION

Taiwan Jewellery & Gem Fair

Dates: 21 – 24 November 2014 

Venue: Taipei World Trade Center   

JAPAN    

Japan Jewellery Fair    
Dates: 26 – 28 August 2014                    
Venue: Tokyo Big Sight Exhibition Center    

GERMANY

Jewellery & Gem Fair - Europe

Dates: 22 – 25 March 2015

Venue: Messe Freiburg, Germany

INDIA    

New Delhi Jewellery & Gem Fair    

Dates: 6 – 8 September 2014    
Venue:  Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, India   

Gujarat Jewellery & Gem Fair

Dates: 21 – 23 November 2014

Venue: Gujarat University Convention and Exhibition Centre

Kolkata  Jewellery & Gem Fair    

Dates: 10 – 12 January 2015    
Venue: Milan Mela Exhibition Complex   

Gem & Jewellery India International Exhibition    

Dates: 14 – 16 February 2015

Venue:  Chennai Trade Centre, Chennai, India

Hyderabad Jewellery, Pearl & Gem Fair    

Dates: 5 – 7 June 2015    
Venue: HITEX Exhibition Centre, Hyderabad, India

RUSSIA

JUNWEX Moscow, JUNWEX Watch    
Dates: 1 – 5 October 2014                
Venue: All-Russian Exhibition Centre, Moscow    
    
JUNWEX St. Petersburg    
Dates: 4 – 8 February 2015                
Venue: LENEXPO, St. Petersburg                  
 

 JUNWEX New Russian Style

Dates: 27 – 31 May 2015  

Venue: All-Russian Exhibition Centre, Moscow 

     
TURKEY    

Istanbul Jewelry Show – March    
Dates: 12 – 15 March 2015
Venue: Istanbul Fair Center (CNR EXPO), Turkey    

Istanbul Jewelry Show – October

Dates: 16 – 19 October 2014
Venue: Istanbul Fair Center (CNR EXPO), Turkey


Please visit www.JewelleryNewsAsia.com for more industry news and features.

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2014/10/15

Modern jewellers have advantages that were not available a few decades ago. 

The biggest advantage is access to information. In fact at this very moment you are gaining new insights and contacts right here on JewelleryNetAsia, the all-around resource for the jewellery industry. With a large directory of dynamic suppliers, a wealth of great blog content, and insider’s access to the leading trade shows; JewelleryNetAsia is your go-to source for up to the minute information.

There are hundreds of other online sites for the industry. Finding the useful ones can be a challenge. I’d like to share a few resources that I find helpful. These apply more to the North American jewellery trade but I think you’ll find them interesting.

 

 

Industry news


JCK -- Jewelers’ Circular-Keystone has been a source of news for the industry in the US for over 140 years. This venerable icon of jewellery information stays up to date with the times. A free subscription to their email feed is a must have for everyone in the business.

Instore Magazine -- Instore has been around since 2002. Its target audience is the American retail jewellery store. Their email newsletter offers the latest jewellery fashion trends along with solid advice on the day to day operations of a retail store

Rapport Tradewire – Rappaport Tradewire is a high level source for information about the diamond industry. It covers news, mining reports and market analysis.

 

Resource sites


Gemology Online If you have any interest in gemmology, this is the place to be. It is a forum site that covers everything in the field of gems and gemmology. If the information you seek is not found somewhere in its archives, a simple question posted on the board will bring plenty of good answers.

The Ganoksin Project is the largest source of technical information on the jewellery arts. This site is an absolute must for anyone that designs, builds or repairs jewellery. It has everything from blogs to instructional videos on every aspect of jewellery making. It has an active forum to share bench tips and discuss common interests. Be prepared to lose yourself for several hours (or days) while exploring this fascinating site.

International Gem Society is an all-around gemmological information site. They have a fairly comprehensive online gemmology course that can lead to certification, a reference library and a forum. Appraisal and gemmological services are offered as well

 

Blogs


David Geller is known as the guru of jewellery repair profitability. His blog covers the pricing, tracking and selling of jewellery repairs. He also is an expert in accounting and inventory management.

Robyn Hawk has her finger on the pulse of American jewellery fashion and industry trends and is probably the most prolific jewellery blogger on the net. Follow her on your favourite social media as well.

Bob Phibbs' blog, while not specifically for the jewellery industry, is one you’ll want to follow if you have a retail store. His insights into salesmanship and retail management are invaluable.

 

Social Media


All of the resources I’ve mentioned have social media presence, often updated several times a day. Search which groups your friends and respected industry professionals belong to and join in. Linkedin deserves a special mention as a source for networking and industry discussions. I find the Gemologist Group to be one of the liveliest jewellery groups on Linkedin. Individual threads can have passionate debates with comments from some of the most recognizable names in the gemmological world.

 

 


Visit www.JewelleryNewsAsia.com for more industry news and features.

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2014/10/15

An honest and trustworthy vendor is a rare gem, if you have one it is a treasure. However, no matter how long you’ve worked with a supplier or how great of a reputation he has you still need to stay vigilant. This is especially true today with the massive amount of treated or synthetic diamonds and gemstones entering the supply stream.

 

One of my clients, a jewellery retailer, brought me several trays of rings that he was considering buying. They were all 18K wedding/fashion settings containing centre stones in the 2 – 4 carat range. Even though he had a 20 year relationship with this vendor, he wanted me to grade the centre stones before spending a few hundred thousand dollars on the goods. He felt the stones were a bit too clean for the price. It turns out he was right to be suspicious... all of the centre stones were Synthetic Moissanite. The vendor was in financial trouble due to a robbery. He had the goods on memo from a new source at a “too good to be true” price and saw them as a quick way to get back on his feet. He later admitted that he was suspicious of the stones but didn’t want to know. He desperately needed money and tried to sell them anyway.

 

Check carefully every time you trade with a new/old supplier

 

In a situation with another client, a vendor was selling Irradiated Blue Diamonds. The vendor fully disclosed the colour enhancement and even provided a product information card for the consumer. This was typical of this reputable supplier in business for over 40 years. I’ve examined and graded their goods for my client for close to 20 years. They were always exactly as described. On a routine inspection of a new shipment I discovered that most of the blue diamonds were also fracture filled. At first the vendor claimed ignorance but later admitted that he knew they were filled. He felt it was unimportant to mention the clarity enhancement since he had already disclosed the colour treatment. This forced my client to contact his retail customers to explain the situation and offer full refunds. The vendor lost his biggest and oldest client.

 

Trust, but verify. It does not matter how long of a relationship you have with a supplier or how good his reputation might be; you still need to do your own due diligence. Even good vendors can turn bad. It never hurts to take a random sample of goods to the lab for a complete analysis of the stones and the metal. It is not unheard of to find slightly under-karat gold, especially in these economically volatile times.

 

Hopefully everything will be exactly as described and you can go about your business with confidence and pride. If there is a problem contact the vendor and have a calm, frank discussion about the situation. A good vendor will do everything possible to make it right and re-earn your trust and future business.

 

Don’t just take someone’s word at face value. Be sure of the products you are buying. After all it is your reputation on the line

 

 


Visit www.JewelleryNewsAsia.com for more industry news and features.

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2014/10/12

A cautious mood is prevailing among Indian gold lovers just before 10-12 days of Diwali, India’s biggest festival of lights. Jewellers were well prepared right from the beginning of September this year to take full advantage of the festive and wedding seasons with various incentives and schemes to attract the prospective buyers. A positive atmosphere was also created during the September with the gold prices stabilizing at around INR 27,000 per 10 grams.

 

But on 6th October, price of the yellow metal fell to a 15-month low at INR.26,560 per 10 grams and this was sufficient to trigger some confusion among price sensitive Indian buyers who have now become more cautious and are expecting further fall in the gold prices in near future. The gold demand now seems to be impacted by strong U.S. dollar and its negative effect on gold prices. Besides, the expectations of the U.S. Federal Reserve hiking interest rates have hurt the yellow metal’s appeal.

 

Jewellers in India confident of good season ahead

Jewellers in India confident of good season ahead

 

As far as India is concerned, volatility in gold prices and the expectation of lower prices have been major factors in preventing physical purchases among buyers and a similar mentality has also been prevailing in investors’ demand. Physical buyers in India are now waiting for gold prices to further fall around INR 25,000 to enter the market, analysts feel here. They say that gold prices in India have fallen 20% during last two years from the peaks but they still don’t offer a ‘fair’ value.

 

But jewellery manufacturers and retailers here are still expecting a ‘fruitful’ festive and wedding seasons in spite of an apparent stagnancy in demand. So the Indian jewellery market seems to have strengthened ahead of Diwali, with gold premiums again gaining thrust as a result of cheaper gold prices.

 

Jewellers here say that demand during Navratri, a 10-day religious festival that began on September 25th, during which Indian consumers buy luxury goods such as gold, was strong based on cheaper gold prices around INR 26,600 rupees per ounce. Market experts say that despite recent depreciations in the Indian rupee, the gold prices in terms of Indian rupee look quite healthy so demand for gold in India would surely pick up during these festive and wedding seasons.

 

Mr. Vipin Mehta, Director (Jewellery) of the World Gold Council (WGC) says,

“Despite some ups and downs in demand over the shorter periods, overall demand for gold in India has remained fundamentally strong over the years. Although, jewellery demand has gone down by 14% in the first two quarters of 2014 over the same period last year, the sales have remained steady during Akshaya Tritiya and for wedding. However, we are expecting a stronger second half as far as jewellery demand is concerned with the onset of festivities.”

 

After months of slowdown, leaders here feel that things are finally beginning to move on. All the purchases which consumers had postponed due to some reasons are finally being made.

 

 


Visit www.JewelleryNewsAsia.com for more industry news and features.

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