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Event Report: September 2014 Hong Kong International Jewellery Show

I have just returned from the Sept 2014 International Jewellery Show in Hong Kong – absolutely crazy.

This was the first major international jewellery fair after the US decided to be a little more “forthright” in the middle east – and that fact weighed heavily on fair attendance numbers. Of note was a general lack of US and Russian buyer in comparison to earlier years.

Our Hong Kong and Chinese mainland based subsidiary Goldenage International reported very strong sales. In particular, Goldenage International made the official global release of its unique range of Uniclasps™ – a world patented new clasp mechanism. It was a real hit with several international jewellery groups making significant orders.

A significant trend was the pre-eminence of the Asian buyer. What were they buying? Surprisingly not 18 carat. Major orders were placed in 14 carat. Demand for white is still there. But a BIG increase in demand for yellow gold and black rhodium and ruthenium plated precious metal products. Tanzanite and pearl jewellery (and therefore the demand for pearl related findings) was a standout trend. Indeed, I do not recall seeing such an array of Tanzanite for sale at any international fair in recent memory.

Mainland Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern attendees, were the biggest buyers. Substantial orders from these groups were reported around the fair. Like last year, the emphasis was on quality – not price. These buyers wanted the best. Whether it be high quality diamonds and untreated coloured gemstones or high quality gold jewellery and components – these clients wanted the finest in every segment and they were willing to pay for it. Mediocre quality product and diamonds in the 50 point to 1 carat segments did not encounter huge demand. Demand for larger stones in higher colour grades was however, buoyant.

It was great to see that Aussies are still keen attendees of the Hong Kong fairs. This year the trend from Aussie and New Zealand buyers would have to be best summarised as a demand for custom jewellery manufacturing services. Goldenage International has recently heavily expanded its custom jewellery production facilities in Hong Kong SAR and mainland China and it seemed that this capability was one very much in demand with local jewellers – especially given that it is now available at Palloys in Australia too. This fact only underscores my comments in previous articles that the global trend is customisation and uniqueness in jewellery design and production. The feedback I get is that jewellers who ignore this trend do so at their peril!

So – another fair round-up from your intrepid reporter. For those of you I managed to catch up with and (and maybe have a drink or two with) at the fair – I hope you arrived home safely! For everyone else, I look forward to seeing you at the upcoming Australian Jewellery Roadshow.

Written by
Andrew Cochineas
Managing Director