The 30th-anniversary edition of the Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair opened Thursday amid an improvement in the local consumer market this year.
Sales of jewelry, watches, clocks and other valuable gifts in Hong Kong increased 1.2% year on year to $3.1 billion (HKD 24.19 billion) for the first four months of 2017, according to data the Census and Statistics Department released earlier this month. Sales rose 0.5% to $682.8 million (HKD 5.33 billion) in April, while total retail sales for the month were up 0.1% to $4.51 billion (HKD 35.2 billion).
Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair – 18 pavilions
The performance of the Hong Kong consumer market had slumped in the past two years amid weaker sentiment and a drop in tourist levels, especially from mainland China. But visitors increased 1.9% to 4.8 million in April, with tourist numbers from the mainland rising 1.8% to 3.5 million. For the January-to-April period, the tourist count jumped 3.2% year on year to 19 million, with Chinese visitors up 3.3% at 14.3 million.
“Retail sales held largely stable in April compared with year-ago levels, amid the sustained recovery of visitor arrivals,” a government spokesperson said earlier this month. “In recent months, the drag from the fall in tourist spending eased, and local consumer sentiment continued to hold up well.”
However, the short-term outlook for retail sales will depend on how well the tourist industry continues to recover and whether external uncertainties such as the potential increase in US interest rates will impact consumer sentiment in Hong Kong, the spokesperson explained.
The Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem June show, while less important than the March and September editions, has attracted an estimated 2,100 exhibitors from around the world, and features 18 pavilions representing national and jewelry-trade organizations.
“The participation of exhibitors from 40 countries and regions shows that the June fair is the most important mid-year jewelry event in Asia,” said Celine Lau, director of jewelry fairs for organizer UBM Asia.
Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair – new themed exhibition zones
More than 25,000 overseas and local buyers will seize this valuable opportunity for stock replenishment in preparation for the year end’s peak shopping season and gleaning upcoming fashion trends.
The June show celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and unveils new themed exhibition zones. Among them is the CORE Pavilion. This new themed zone is exclusively for jewellery companies based in Hong Kong. “CORE conveys the heritage of the Hong Kong jewellery industry. The exhibitors in this themed zone are over 60 local companies that have been actively exhibiting at jewellery fairs in Hong Kong and consider the city the main platform on which they grow their business,” says Celine Lau, Director of Jewellery Fairs, UBM Asia. “These companies are highly representative of Hong Kong’s jewellery industry. Their designs are diverse and comprehensive, covering a broad price range and targeting a wide variety of markets. The CORE Pavilion is simply the essence of Hong Kong’s jewellery sector.”
Making its debut at the fair is the pavilion set up by the Hong Kong Indian Diamond Association. “They will be dozens of diamantaires exhibiting in this pavilion. Most of their products are expected to be the commercial-size diamonds. A few companies in this pavilion have never exhibited at the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem fair before,” she notes.
On top of national pavilions, the show’s themed exhibition zones are arranged by product category to ensure visitors’ easy navigation. Themed exhibition areas including the Gemstone Pavilion featuring 480 companies specializing in colored gemstones in a broad range of varieties, price points and quality grades, and the Diamond Pavilion which gathers under one specific zone over 420 diamantaires from all major diamond centers around the world. In addition, members of the International Colored Gemstone Association will exhibit as a group in the “ICA Pavilion”.
Exhibitors of highly specialized items catering to unique interests include those “Fei Cui” (jadeite) design specialists who will display their newest creations in their designated zone. All Fei Cui products displayed by these exhibitors have been certified as “Grade A” goods by gemological laboratories, meaning they are all natural without undergoing any form of treatments. There are also special exhibition areas for silver jewellery and designs in stainless steel and the upscale antique and estate jewellery zone. Designer Zone is dedicated to independent jewellery designers from around the world who specialise in unconventional pieces of high-quality craftsmanship.
Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair – top-of-the-line creations for an ultra exclusive clientele
For enthusiasts of opulent jewellery and gemstones, the show’s highlights are the Fine Design Pavilion and Fine Gem Pavilion, where over 70 world-renowned jewellery houses and high-end gemstone specialists will showcase their top-of-the-line creations to their ultra exclusive clientele.
These pavilions offer the rare chance for gem and jewellery connoisseurs, private collectors and investors to view and select in a pleasant ambience the upscale jewellery designs, top-quality loose diamonds, colored gemstones, pearls, important antique pieces and other high-priced one-offs.
The popular “Declaration Programme on Exhibits of Natural Diamond” scheme, which was designed to give more information regarding diamonds exhibited at the fair, will continue at the June show, Lau notes. Exhibitors who have their natural diamonds on display tested by gem labs will be issued a poster that they can put on prominent display at their booths.
Designs in upcoming seasons will reflect the themes of nature and magnificent flora and fauna, says Christie Dang, Editor, Jewellery News Asia Chinese Edition. “Influential international brands have been using diverse colored gemstones in soft pastel colours to interpret these trends. An increasing number of designers innovate on unique styles based on themes with a storyline. They have significantly broadened the price points of the collections, catering for the rising demand for young fashion-conscious consumers.”
The Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem show runs through Sunday.