Filter By:
Filter the article list with the above items

India has once again proved its commitment towards clean and transparent diamond business by enforcing a ban recently on trading of synthetic or lab-grown diamonds within the premises of Mumbai based Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB). Henceforth, all traders will deal only in natural diamonds and strict action would be taken against those who are caught with synthetic diamonds.


Ban, a timely decision taken by the BDB
Ban, a timely decision taken by the BDB


Mr. Anoop Mehta, President of the BDB says, "A circular has been issued to all the office holders of the bourse to strictly observe the ban. A strict vigil will be maintained to ensure that no synthetic diamond enters the bourse from now.  Moreover, it (the synthetics deal) was tarnishing the image of Indian diamond industry globally. With this we have sent a message to the world bourses that we are dealing in natural diamonds only."


Thus BDB has now become the second bourse in the world to ban the synthetic diamonds trading. Earlier last year, the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) was the first to officially ban trading of synthetic diamond. IDE is also the first exchange to ban trade in conflict diamonds. The global image of Indian diamond industry has been battered during last one-and-a-half-year after many revelations were made on the detection of undisclosed mixing of synthetic diamonds with natural diamond parcels. Even gemological laboratories world-wide had raised an alarm on the unauthorized mixing of synthetic stones, found from the parcels sent from Mumbai and Surat.


Industry sources say that the action was a timely taken measure as the erection of a Special Notified Zone (SNZ) for conducting global rough trading is nearly complete in the BDB where mining giants like De Beers, Alrosa, Rio Tinto etc. are eager to start auctions from November, 2015. According to an official estimate, India which was importing synthetic diamonds worth USD 4 million in 2004-05 had imported  the lab-grown diamonds worth USD 86 million in 2013-14, which is 21-times increase in 10 years. So it had become necessary to put a strict vigil on the speedily increasing inflow of such diamonds and to create a congenial atmosphere within the premises of the BDB for transparent global trading.


Moreover, at the request of some Indian processing companies, De Beers plans to set up a synthetic diamond detection centre either in Surat or in BDB, Mumbai soon that will detect diamonds even studded on jewellery. Recently in March, De Beers had set up a grading and inscription facility in Surat, at an investment of Rs 60 crore. Of course, there are some synthetic diamond-detecting machines at BDB but none of them can identify synthetic diamonds in ornaments. The BDB machines have a long waiting list for testing. Other mining companies like Alrosa and Rio Tinto are also expected to start the same facility in India soon.


Mr. Dinesh Navadia, Regional Chairman of India’s Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) says, "Diamond trade of about USD 23 billion is done within the bourse annually. So we want to build a clean image of India’s diamond industry and this is the beginning."


Mr. Alex Popov, President of Moscow Diamond Bourse (MDB) says, “I believe that the reported mixing of synthetic diamonds with natural ones is scandalous if not plainly criminal. Since this is done mostly with small goods, it is obvious that the focus has been on reported incidents in India and I am encouraged by the unequivocal condemnation that I have heard from our counterparts in India. Of course, all bourses need to take the measures needed to stamp out these practices.”


Industry circles here feel that this is an aptly taken decision by the BDB as it would bear a major impact on enhancing the deteriorated consumer-confidence to a great extent.


Visit for more industry news and features.

Read more

With the slowdown in the Chinese jewellery market and other BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia and India), there was a focus on value among jewellery exhibitors at Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair.


“Affordable luxury” and “fun” collections using gold and small diamonds starting at $200,” was one of the major selling points at this year’s fair, says Marie Feliciano, editor-in-chief of Jewellery News Asia.


“Stackable rings, stack bracelets, ear climbers and multi-layered necklaces are trending,” she said. “I’ve seen some really attractive over-sized rings with coloured gemstones. With regards to coloured stones, tourmaline, tanzanite, topaz and fancy sapphires are quite popular. Some Hong Kong companies are using carved jade in their contemporary collections.”


It also helped to provide variety.


Inspired Jewellery, a contemporary jewellery design firm, exhibited examples of its modern diamond-based jewellery, a line of delicate bridal rings for the Japanese market, and an affordable silver jewellery collection with satirical statements about the state of the world today. It’s called “Deception ... A Collection”.


“We’re really well-positioned with our product mix,” said Chris Benham, CEO of the New Zealand-based firm.

Inspired Jewellery makes a statement about the financial people on Wall Street with this silver pendant necklace.
Inspired Jewellery makes a statement about the financial people on Wall Street with this silver pendant necklace.

The company was located in “Designer Avenue,” a new area on the fourth floor of the Hong Kong Convention & Exposition Centre dedicated to smaller design-focused firms. Benham said he was “really pleased with the crowds” from a variety of Asian countries and regions.


It’s not only the size of the show that makes it arguably the most important in the worldwide jewellery industry but its scope. The variety of jewellery available at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre includes low-end silver products, designer items, haute couture, and collectible jewellery and watches.

Sarah Ho Royal Plume Earrings in 18k white gold with pink and blue sapphires, aquamarine, diamonds and pearls; from her Couture collection.
Sarah Ho Royal Plume Earrings in 18k white gold with pink and blue sapphires, aquamarine, diamonds and pearls; from her Couture collection.


Sarah Ho Numerati Rings in 18k rose gold with diamonds.
Sarah Ho Numerati Rings in 18k rose gold with diamonds.


So while value was the focus for many exhibitors, those who deal in high-end jewellery brought their best items with them, no matter the cost.


“It’s the hub of the jewellery industry all over the world,” said Henri Istanboulian of Zorab Atelier de Creation, which has been exhibiting at the fair for 20 years. The family owned firm specializes in unique and limited-edition high jewellery made with combinations of rare gems. “The Hong Kong show became more interesting and better than any other show.”


During opening day at the convention centre (the third day of the fair), fine jewellery designer Sarah Ho said buyers haven’t yet made it to the back of the main hall where her booth is located. She was featuring a couture line of jewellery and the “Numerati Collection” of rings based on the numbers 1 through 9 made in 18k rose gold with diamonds.


“The numbers are visible when the ring is held but as soon as the ring is worn the number becomes a hidden secret, known on to the person wearing it,” she said.


It’s her second year at the show and she says a long-term goal is to move closer to the front of the hall.


“Once you start a show you have to give it a few years.”

Visit for more industry news and features.

Read more

In good times or in bad, there always seems to be demand for collectible jewellery and watches. These items are valued for their beauty, history and rarity. They also serve as investments, particularly as hedges against adverse price movements.


This last point seems to be particularly important as turbulence in the Chinese stock markets this summer presented uncertainty to the world’s fastest growing economy and fastest growing jewellery and watch market.


The Antique & Vintage Jewellery Hall in September Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair
The Antique & Vintage Jewellery Hall in September Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair


“Many collectors that we work with in the mainland are still buying. If anything the pressure on the financial markets pushes collectors to invest more of their wealth into a hobby that they love and enjoy,” said Sam Hines, Phillips International Head of Watches, who is based in Hong Kong. “They also feel more comfortable having something with intrinsic value rather than a piece of paper that can suddenly be worth much less. Many collectors also say to us that they prefer having something to wear and enjoy which is hopefully increasing in value. The current market conditions I believe effect the buyer whom would only purchase one watch they see while browsing for other luxury goods. I think the current markets make those collecting a lot more focused and spend a little more wisely.”


Graeme Thompson, Bonhams Asia director of Jewellery, added, “Coloured stones are doing incredibly well. Vintage (pieces over 100 years old) and period jewellery (representing a specific time frame and style) markets are up. There are opportunities to be had.” He also notes that wealth is being created in China “unlike anywhere else in the world. That’s going to have a clear impact on collectible market in the next five to 10 years.”


The “Antique & Vintage Jewellery” section of the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair is perhaps the least talked about area of the show. This year, from my perspective it was among the busiest, if not the busiest, section of the show.


The Antique & Vintage Jewellery Hall in September Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair


Prior to fair there was a sense that sales would be down based on recent headlines, but the exhibitors seemed to do quite well.


“The world press exaggerated the negative business in Asia,” Edward Faber, co-owner of Aaron Faber Gallery, said at his very active booth. The retailer specializes in vintage and period jewellery and timepieces and in contemporary studio jewellery.


Mr Faber said for both jewellery and watches, buyers are looking for unique, unusual pieces at a good price.


“Value is winning out in watches and motivating buyers,” he said.


Patricia Kiley Faber, the other half of the husband and wife team, said buyers are looking for jewellery they can “easily resell”. Also, one-of-a-kind pieces that are a bit different.


So when times are uncertain, collectors look to quality and uniqueness at a good price.

Visit for more industry news and features.

Read more

In 2014, the raw materials section of the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair experienced large numbers of visitors. Final figures for the show haven’t been released yet but it appears that visitor numbers will be flat or slightly down for this section.

Held at the Asia World-Expo, this part of the show hosts the largest diamond pavilion in the world, the largest gemstone marketplace in Asia, a pavilion representing all of the major pearl regions. It also includes jewellery-making equipment and displays and boxes for jewels.


Opening day at the raw materials section of the show in the Asia World-Expo.
Opening day at the raw materials section of the show in the Asia World-Expo.


The diamond industry has this past year with a number of issues, including the difficulty of receiving credit, lower prices for diamonds and most importantly the slowdown in jewellery consumption in China. Going into the fair there were low expectations.


“The diamond industry in general, like a lot of other commodities, was geared toward rapid Chinese growth. Now things have slowed which created a lot of inventory,” Russell Shor, senior industry analyst with the Gemological Institute of America, said prior to the fair. “What you’re going to see is cautious buying and hard bargaining on prices. They have an idea of what they can sell for the year and they are not going to take a chance on buying anything extra…. It’s a buyer’s market.”


However, during the fair, he said most dealers “did better than expected.”


Ernie Blom, president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, said in a statement the fair turned out to be good sign for dealers.


“The Hong Kong show, due to the global nature of its exhibitors, buyers and visitors, serves as a useful barometer of industry sentiment, so it is very promising that demand at the fair was stable.”


The most buzz among was around any exhibitor selling synthetic melee detectors.


In the coloured gem area, one observer said there appeared to more buyers from the US and Europe and fewer buyers from China.


Gary Roskin, executive director of the International Colored Gemstone Association, said about 100 members exhibiting in a pavilion managed by the organization, another 100 vendors in the 22 country pavilions and about 200 members attending as buyers.


“With the Chinese economy slowing down, our ICA members came in with modest expectations. However, like any trade show, some of our ICA exhibitors had very good shows despite the economic news. There were also a number of our members who were happy to see established clients return to place good orders, while a few ICA members mentioned actually meeting new clients who saved the show.”


He adds, “There were exhibitors who left without doing much business – but they expected that coming in. As an exhibitor, you have to be at the shows consistently, in good times and bad, so that you establish yourself as a reliable company.”


The most crowded part of the show was the equipment area, where throngs of people were viewing everything from 3D printers to finishing and polishing equipment.

Visit for more industry news and features.

Read more

With 13 themed halls scattered on 5 floors and over 2000 vendors…The show at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) is indeed the largest gathering of jewellery vendors and buyers in the world. The only event that is larger is Tucson, but that is over 40 separate shows spread around an entire city focusing more on rocks and beads with very little of it dealing in high-end fine jewellery. The Hong Kong is all in one building and features the best of the best.




This venue can be difficult to navigate at first and is crowded but after a while I got the hang of it.  Even so, I still did not get to see all of it.  It may be possible to do a fast scan of everything but serious buyers will want to formulate a plan of attack to be sure you get your needs covered before you take the time to browse and explore.



The highlight of the show is the Hong Kong Premier Pavilion. This is where Hong Kong’s finest suppliers show their goods. The dazzling array of fine jewellery is a feast for the eyes and an essential shopping venue for any fine jewellery retailer. The one thing that impressed me the most about this hall was that at almost every booth people were busy writing orders. That is the most important hallmark of success for any show: doing a brisk business!


With the Asian and International Jewellery pavilions, virtually every country in the world was represented making this a truly global event.  It is a good reminder that our industry can set an example to rest of the world on how so many people of diverse cultures can get along and prosper through commerce and shared passions. It makes me proud to be in this business.


The Designers Gallery offers a chance for up and coming jewellery artists to show off their talents and make a name for themselves. Some of the work was absolutely stunning with innovative use of materials and unusual gemstones. Even though it is one of the smaller halls, it was certainly one of the most enjoyable.



I was pleased to see and entire section devoted to Antique and Vintage Jewellery. Most shows have a few booths scattered around dealing in Vintage goods but to find a show that dedicates space to celebrate the history of jewellery is special. This was one of the largest showings of the masterworks of our industry with jewellery by some of the finest and most recognized designers from days gone by.


By far, the most exciting section of the show for me is the Jadeite Gallery. Fine Jadeite is well known and popular in Asia, but scarce in the US. While there is some awareness of Jadeite carvings in fine antique stores, we rarely get a chance to experience the rich vibrancy of top quality Imperial Jadeite Jewellery or see the intense colours of fine Lavender Jadeite. I have always loved jadeite but seeing the magnificent stones at this show gave me an even deeper appreciation of this material.




Overall my impression of my first visit to the Hong Kong shows is mixed. I am not fond of long queues, huge crowds and confusion. This show has all three. Of course at an event this large, it is to be expected. I feel that the organizers worked very hard to make it as pleasant and efficient as possible.  Signage is good and information booths are everywhere. The staff was always eager to help and many of them are multi-lingual…a major asset in a global market. But what makes it all worthwhile to the ability to find virtually everything our industry has to offer in one place. Everyone in the jewellery business needs to visit this show at least once in their career and more than likely; they will want to attend again. I know I will.


Visit for more industry news and features.

Read more