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Monday, October 31, 2016

Graff Diamonds Reveals Largest D Flawless Heart-Shaped Diamond In The World

The Graff Venus

Graff Diamonds just unveiled “The Graff Venus.” At 118.78 carats, the London-based jeweler said it is the world’s largest D-color, flawless heart-shaped diamond.

This is a diamond that is not only large but is among the purest in color, clarity and cut. The D color grade means it is colorless, the top of the color scale for diamonds. It is flawless, the top of the clarity scale. It is a Type IIa diamond, meaning it is almost or entirely devoid of impurities. They make up between 1 and 2 percent of all natural diamonds.

The diamond also possesses excellent polish, excellent symmetry and no fluorescence—again the very highest accolades a diamond can achieve. 


The Graff Venus was cut from a 357-carat rough diamond discovered in 2015 at the Letšeng Mine in Lesotho, the company said, addition that Laurence Graff, the founder of the London-based high jewelry brand, “knew instinctively that hidden within its depths lay the potential to create diamond history—it displayed an outstanding size, color and clarity of the highest standard.” 

The company added, “A heart shape diamond must be perfectly faceted and entirely symmetrical to ensure a perfect silhouette and exquisite scintillation. The exceptional size of the heart required the development of special tools and new technologies. The process was incredibly risky and tense.”

From discovery to completion, the process of analysis, cutting and polishing the diamond took 18 months.

More than half of the world’s top 20 largest diamonds discovered this century have been cut and polished by Graff. 

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The Popular Solange HOTLIPS Rings Now Available Online


British high jeweler Solange Azagury Partridge has launched a new eCommerce website in the U.S., offering her famous HOTLIPS core collection of rings for an obtainable $95. They normally sell for $2,000.

Known simply as Solange, the jeweler specializes in one-of-a-kind creations that are showcased in the wildly creative interiors of her boutiques. Her pieces appear in the collections of the Musee des Arts Decoratives in Paris and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. 

Her most popular collection is HOTLIPS, rings in the shape of lips made of 18k gold often covered with colorful details made of everything from hand-painted lacquer to precious gems. They became her most iconic item, popular with many celebrities, including Scarlett Johansson, Lady Gaga, Penelope Cruz, Emma Watson and Cara Delevingne.

Solange Azagury Partridge

The rings for the U.S. website will be made of silver and hand-painted lacquer for an attainable price of $95.00 at www.hotlipsbysolange.com.

Her core collection is now available and consists of:

* Classic Red signifying the passion and power of love;

* Black Cherry signifying a mysterious kind of love;

* Bubblegum Pink signifying an innocent and sweet kiss; and

* Nude signifying an elegant and sophisticated kiss.

More colors and designs will be released throughout the next year, including a collaboration with Project (RED) around World Aids Day and a series of flag rings.

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Jewelry Fair VicenzaOro Involved In Merger Of Two Italian Companies

Matteo Marzotto, vice president (left), and Lorenzo Cagnoni, president, of the newly formed Italian Exhibition Group

Two Italian trade fair companies, Fiera di Vicenza Spa and Rimini Fiera Spa, have merged to form the Italian Exhibition Group. Fair representatives said Friday that this alliance makes the new entity a “top player in Italy” in terms of directly organized shows with 61 fairs in its portfolio (90% own by the trade fair organizations) and 160 other events and congresses. 

The company also says it is the first example of a merger between trade show enterprises in Italy. 

The new entity will be the promotion and internationalization platform for the entire “Made in Italy” production chain, meaning products will be designed in such a way that it will meet the needs of users in many countries, the companies said in a joint statement. 

Fiera di Vicenza in Italy’s Veneto region serves as the home of VicenzaOro, the Italian jewelry industry’s largest trade fair, held three times per year. It is one of the 61 trade shows the combined organization hosts at three venues in several product categories including Food & Beverage, Green Investment, Technology, Entertainment, Tourism, Transport, Wellness, and Lifestyle & Innovation.

Rimini Fiera Spa, located in the coastal city of Rimini in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, has two facilities: Rimini Fiera and Palacongressi Rimini.

There was no mention  in the joint announcement of how the merger will affect individual trade fairs. However, Italian Exhibition Group said there are no changes planned with either the names of the distinct fair venues or their operations.

The new Italian Exhibition Group logo

Perhaps the boldest statement by Italian Exhibition Group is its goal to be a publicly listed company and to act as the unifying element for other trade show organizations.

While the merger is being billed as a coming together of equals, it appears that Rimini will be the dominate player of the two. Lorenzo Cagnoni, president of Rimini Fiera will now serve as president and CEO of Italian Exhibition Group. Matteo Marzotto, president of Fiera di Vicenza, has been named vice president. In addition, the announcement was made in Rimini Friday. 

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Friday, October 28, 2016

China International Gold, Jewellery & Gem Fair – Shanghai kicks off November 18


The China International Gold, Jewellery & Gem Fair – Shanghai for the Eastern China market will be held November 18-21 at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center. 

Now on its 12th edition, the Shanghai Fair will host more than 300 exhibitors from 17 countries and regions. The latest contemporary jewelry and classic bestsellers will be displayed in over 11,000 square meters of exhibition space. Large groups of exhibitors, such as those from Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Korea and India as brand new exhibitor will showcase their products under their respective pavilions. 

This year’s Shanghai Fair will unveil a host of new features, including the Asia-Pacific Jewellery & Watch Expo. The new exhibition will be held concurrently with the Shanghai Fair. It will offer a range of arts and crafts, timepieces and jewelry products. The new exhibition is a result of UBM Asia’s strategic alliance with the Shanghai NIU International Exhibition Co Ltd making the concept “one site two fairs,” become a reality. The Asia-Pacific Jewellery & Watch Expo is co-organized by the China National Light Industry Council, Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Informatization Division of Foreign Economy. 

There are seven brand new pavilions at this exhibition, they are: Beijing Arts and Crafts Association, Guangzhou Light Industry Arts and Crafts Enterprise, Hunan Embroidery Research Institute, Committee of Collection and Research of China Horologe Association, Shanghai Gem and Jade Trading Center Co Ltd, Shanghai Timepiece Trade Association, and the Shanghai Jade Carving Culture Association. 

The pavilions will showcase a range of jewelry and gemstone products, luxury and antique timepieces, and arts and crafts. For instance, there are the “Eight Great Crafts of Yanjing,” representing traditional China’s palace art from Beijing; exquisite and noble antique silverware from the east and west, and, timeless embroidery that reflect the unique craftsmanship of artisans.

Others attractions include:

Sri Lanka Pavilion – Over 40 exhibitors under the Sri Lanka Pavilion showcasing the world renowned Ceylon Sapphire and a vast array of rough and polished gemstones.

Taiwan Pavilion – Around 30 Taiwan exhibitors specializing in Grade A fei cui jewelry and all kinds of high-quality coral and gemstone jewelry.

Korean Pavilion – Korean exhibitors offer a wide range of the latest fashion jewelry with trendy and innovative designs popular among teens.
India Pavilion – The brand new India Pavilion will debut at this edition of the Shanghai Fair. The exhibitors will showcase India’s unique jewelry craftsmanship in gold jewelry manufacturing and diamond cutting and polishing.

Special events – Jewelry design award ceremony, jewelry and craft auction, and educational seminars. 

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Stars Glitter In Harry Winston Jewels At amfAR Benefit

Charlize Theron, wearing Harry Winston accepts the amfAR Award of Inspiration onstage at amfAR’s Inspiration Gala Los Angeles sponsored by Harry Winston at Milk Studios. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Harry Winston)

Charlize Theron, Lea Michele, Victoria Justice, Angela Lindvall and Erica Pelosini were among the stars adorned in Harry Winston jewels at the amfAR Inspiration Gala, held Thursday at Milk Studios in Los Angeles. 

amfAR’s Inspiration Gala Los Angeles sponsored by Harry Winston at Milk Studios on October 27, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Harry Winston)

Luxury jewelry and watch brand, Harry Winston, is in the second year of a three-year international partnership with amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and served as the presenting sponsor of the star-studded Hollywood event, which benefits the foundation’s AIDS research programs.

Model Heidi Klum, Regional Vice President at Harry Winston, Michael Moser and businesswoman Paris Hilton attend amfAR’s Inspiration Gala Los Angeles sponsored by Harry Winston at Milk Studios on October 27, 2016, in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Harry Winston)

The event honored Jeffrey Katzenberg and Theron for their outstanding contributions in the fight against AIDS. Each was presented with the limited-edition Harry Winston Countdown to a Cure timepiece. Limited to 20 men and 20 women pieces, it is sold exclusively through Harry Winston boutiques. Twenty percent of sales go toward amfAR's efforts to develop the scientific basis of a cure for HIV by 2020. 

Jeffrey Katzenberg accepts the amfAR Award of Inspiration at amfAR’s Inspiration Gala Los Angeles sponsored by Harry Winston at Milk Studios on October 27, 2016, in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Harry Winston)

Part of Harry Winston’s timeless Midnight Collection, the men’s version of the automatic watch features a 42mm white gold case with a navy blue dial accented with a multicolor gradient, representing amfAR’s Countdown to a Cure campaign colors that symbolize the fade of the disease from crisis to cure. The women’s 32mm model is set with 12 brilliant-cut diamonds and 19 vivid gemstones, from rubies and sapphires to spessartite garnets.

Other stars attending the event included Heidi Klum, Dita Von Teese, Jane Lynch, Cheyenne Jackson and Jon Hamm. 

Theron accepted her award wearing Harry Winston chandelier earrings with 32.57 carats of diamonds set in platinum and the Secret Cluster ring with 6.6 carats set in platinum. 

Actress Lea Michele wearing Harry Winston at amfAR’s Inspiration Gala Los Angeles at Milk Studios on October 27, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Harry Winston)

Michele was decked out in 180 carats worth of Harry Winston diamond and platinum jewels, including the Combination Diamond Necklace and Bracelet (88.34 carats and 68.57 carats, respectively), Emerald-Cut Diamond Earstuds (3.15 carats), Cushion-Cut Micropave Diamond Ring, (4.98 carats), Radiant-Cut Diamond Rock Band (8.3 carats) and Oval Diamond Rock Band (6.47 carats). 


Stylist Erica Pelosini wearing Harry Winston at amfAR’s Inspiration Gala Los Angeles at Milk Studios on October 27, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Harry Winston)

Pelosini wore 60 carats of Harry Winston jewels, including the 44.34-carat Marquesa Diamond Cluster Necklace matched with the Tulp diamond bracelet (12.86 carats), Straight Line Diamond Bracelet, (2.54 carats), Crossover Diamond Ring (1.63 carats) and Micropave Diamond Dome Band (1.09 carats) 

Actress Victoria Justice wearing Harry Winston at amfAR’s Inspiration Gala Los Angeles at Milk Studios on October 27, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Harry Winston)

Justice wore Harry Winston Cluster Diamond Earrings and Stacked Diamond Bands; and Lindvall was adorned in Open Belle Diamond Drop Earrings

Model Angela Lindvall wearing Harry Winston attends amfAR’s Inspiration Gala Los Angeles sponsored by Harry Winston at Milk Studios. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Harry Winston)

The amfAR Inspiration series was launched in 2010 to celebrate men’s fashion and style while raising funds for amfAR’s lifesaving AIDS research programs. Since its inception, Inspiration galas have been held in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Toronto, and Miami. To date, Inspiration events have raised more than $26 million for amfAR. 

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Rio Tinto, Chow Tai Fook Renew Sponsorships For JNA Awards 2017

JNA Awards "Honoured Partners" signing ceremony for 2017

Rio Tinto Diamonds and Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group continue to lead the JNA Awards for the sixth consecutive year as “Headline Partners” of the highly anticipated event in the jewelry and gemstone industry. The partner renewal signing ceremony took place during the Awards gala dinner on September 14, attended by more than 500 industry professionals in Hong Kong.

Also returning as “Honoured Partners” are Shanghai Diamond Exchange, Guangdong Gems & Jade Exchange, and Guangdong Land Holdings Limited. The JNA Awards recognizes and honors companies and individuals that have demonstrated excellence, leadership and innovation, with a special focus on Asia, and whose ideas and actions have made a positive impact on their businesses and communities.

The 2016 JNA Awards held September 14

"The support shown to us by these industry leaders is nothing short of remarkable. Their resounding commitment and support drives us to continue to elevate the jewellery trade and to bring this event to where it is today," said Wolfram Diener, senior VP of UBM Asia.

Letitia Chow, founder of JNA, director of Business Development -- Jewellery Group at UBM Asia, and Chair of the JNA Awards judging panel, added, "We have been very privileged to be able to work closely with our partners who share our vision and core values, and help make this a highly regarded and meaningful event for the trade. It is also extremely encouraging to see the continuous support from both our Headline and Honoured Partners, especially Rio Tinto Diamonds, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group, and Shanghai Diamond Exchange, who have joined us in this journey since the very beginning.”

The JNA Awards 2016 Ceremony and Gala Dinner honored 15 Recipients in 11 categories. 

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The ‘Ratnaraj’ 10-Carat Ruby Could Achieve $12.5 Million At Christie’s


A rare 10.05-carat Burmese Pigeon’s Blood ruby ring will be the lead item at Christie’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels sale on November 29. It has a pre-sale estimate of $8.8 million to $12.5 million.

Known as the “Ratnaraj” (“King of Precious Stones” in Sanskrit), the auction house says it boasts “significant size, illuminating redness and flawless crystal structure.”

The gem comes from the House of Faidee, a century-old gem and jewelry firm known for its trophy collection of Burmese rubies and Kashmiri sapphires. Only a few appear on the market each year.

Christie’s says it is extremely rare for a ruby over 5 carats to exhibit exceptional saturation and natural red fluorescence categorized as “pigeon’s blood.”

The Magnificent Jewels auction will be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. 

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Monday, October 24, 2016

New Jewels From Wallace Chan, Reza and Otto Jakob At TEFAF New York


In recent years Wallace Chan has increased his participation at international art fairs. Nearly as big a story as the jewels he exhibits are the well-heeled collectors from Hong Kong and China who fly to various parts of the world specifically to support his efforts. TEFAF New York Fall was no different. 

Blue sapphire ring owned by avid collector of Wallace Chan’s works, Lynn Hsieh, a Hong Kong business woman, socialite and former Taiwanese child movie star. She came from Hong Kong to view Chan’s latest exhibition at the TEFAF New York Fall art fair. Photo by Anthony DeMarco

During the press and VIP preview on Friday I met Lynn Hsieh. In addition to being an avid collector of Wallace Chan’s jewels, she is a Hong Kong business woman, socialite and former Taiwanese child movie star. She said she came to both support the artist and possibly add to her collection. She was wearing a ring and matching earrings made of large cabochon blue sapphires highlighted by yellow diamonds, miniature natural pearls and lapis lazuli. 

Matching blue sapphire ring owned by Lynn Hsieh, who came from Hong Kong to view Chan’s latest exhibition at the TEFAF New York Fall art fair. Photo by Anthony DeMarco

Among Chan’s new pieces he brought to the fair is “A Tale of Two Dragons,” a pair of brooches being sold as a set made primarily of a white jade dragon belt hook from china’s Qianlong Period (1736-1795); with emerald, ruby, sapphire, pink sapphire and fancy colored diamonds.

Tale of Two Dragons brooches by Wallace Chan

The white jade was split in two and elaborately carved with titanium and covered with colorful precious gems to create mirror images of a mother and father raising a son and daughter. 

The reverse of the Tale of Two Dragons Brooch shown at TEFAF New York Fall.  Photo by Anthony DeMarco

While Chan is noted for his elaborate artistry and complicated techniques, he also lets particular gems stand largely on their own. This includes another one of his new pieces, the “Night of Violet,” a 116.2-carat amethyst faceted in a pillow-like display on a ring (video at top of the page). The presentation seems simplistic but there is complexity within the piece. Although mounted on titanium, the gem is mysteriously set on the ring without a visible metal claw. The gem is flanked by two triangle-shaped amethysts. The three gems are bordered by rows of yellow and white diamonds. 

A ruby is set at the back of the “Night of Violet” ring, which Chan calls the eye of a dragon, a token of love, power and wisdom. Photo by Anthony DeMarco

Parisian jeweler, Reza, formerly Alexandre Reza, brought new pigeon blood ruby pieces to TEFAF, led by chandelier earrings. Another item of note was a large, elaborate emerald and yellow gold necklace created by the jewelry house in 1980. 

Earrings by Reza feature 34 pebble pigeon blood rubies weighing 35.92 carats, 84 princess cut diamonds weighing 2.19 carats and 148 marquise-cut diamonds weighing 8.69 carats. Set on white polished gold

German jeweler Otto Jakob introduced colorful miniature jewelry creations, including “Bailaoras” earrings made of yellow, rose and white gold, diamonds and vitreous enamel, made by fusing powdered glass to gold by firing. This technique and polishing createsan intense red glow to the poppy feathers. An articulated chain of black diamonds leads to a rose gold capsule with a crown of white gold that is micro pavé-set. 

Emerald and yellow gold necklace created by Reza in 1980. Photo by
Anthony DeMarco

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Otto Jakob's “Bailaoras” earrings made of yellow, rose and white gold, diamonds and vitreous enamel. Photo by Anthony DeMarco

Friday, October 21, 2016

TEFAF New York Fall Features Contemporary, Vintage and Period High Jewels

“Stilled Life,” brooch by Wallace Chan depicts a cicada made primarily of imperial quality green jade. Its wings are made of wafer-thin green jade and its hands clutch a cabochon lavender jade

The inaugural TEFAF New York Fall art fair opens today (Friday) with a preview starting at 5 p.m. at the Park Avenue Armory that will benefit The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering. The fair will officially to the general public Saturday and run till October 26.

TEFAF (The European Fine Art Fair) is an offshoot of the famed annual event TEFAF in Maastricht, Netherlands, and the first time the organization is holding its fair outside Europe. Participating dealers were selected by a committee comprising four members of the TEFAF New York Board members and four external US art experts. 

Among the 94 dealers of fine art, design and furniture will be at least 10 high jewelry artists and dealers exhibiting masterpieces in contemporary, antique and period jewels.

Perhaps the most anticipated of the contemporary jewelry artists is Wallace Chan. The Hong Kong-based jeweler is known for his imaginative jewelry designs, groundbreaking gem sculpting techniques and the spectacular prices his creations reportedly earn (even though he never discusses price). Among the pieces he will be showing this year are two sculptured bejeweled brooches.

The first, “Stilled Life,” depicts a cicada made primarily of imperial quality green jade. Its wings are made of wafer-thin green jade and its hands clutch a cabochon lavender jade. Jade beads throughout the piece are embedded using the tenon-and-mortise technique. The overwhelming green of the cicada is the result of Wallace Chan’s jade-thinning-and-luminosity-enhancing invention that he patented in 2002. Pigeon blood ruby eyes provide the finishing touch. 

The piece is billed as a brooch and sculpture. When not worn it comes with a bamboo sculpture of crystal, yellow diamond, pink sapphire, diamond and tsavorite garnet that serves as a base for the winged insect. 

Aspara by Wallace Chan

The second piece is Apsara, Chan’s interpretation of the nymph’s ethereal and artistic qualities that include a body tattooed with cloud-and-water motifs and her gemstone-embellished ribbon resembling trails of stars. In her outstretched hands is a 4.04-carat fancy intense yellow diamond. Other gems include emerald, pink, yellow and green diamonds and crystal.

Emerald and diamond long earrings by Reza

Place Vendôme high jeweler, Reza, is set to unveil a number of high jewelry contemporary works. The centerpiece is a new series of jewelry with gem quality pigeon blood untreated cabochon rubies, richly chromatic and architectural in design. 

Earrings made of jade, diamonds, bronze and white gold by Hemmerle

In addition, there will be two high jewelers from Germany: Hemmerle and Otto Jakob. The first is known for creating colorful, refined artistic jewelry creations using unusual materials such as aluminum and wood. The second specializes in highly detailed and elaborate Renaissance-inspired pieces made of rare and natural materials.

There will be a number of dealers who specialize in antique, vintage and period jewelry and watches. 

Fighting Cock brooches by Cartier made of gold and various gems, 1945, being exhibited by Wartski

Among them is Wartski, the 151-year-old London antique dealer perhaps best known for its “royal warrant of appointment,” as one of a handful of jewelers that supply goods and services to the British royal family. Geoffrey Munn, managing director, is one of Britain’s foremost authorities on antique jewelry with a particular emphasis on 19th-century precious metalwork and Fabergé. The firm is bringing jewels ranging from a 17th Century talisman object to contemporary works from Parisian jeweler, Cartier, and U.S. designer, Tony Duquette. 

The Cole Porter diamond and ruby necklace designed by Fulco, di Verdura, for Paul Flato. It is being exhibited by Siegelson

New York-based Siegelson will be exhibiting a number of pieces including items from Jean Fouquet and Cartier. One highlight is the Cole Porter diamond necklace created by Fulco di Verdura for Paul Flato that simulates a belt with a buckle.

Gold, enamel and diamond Orchid brooch by Paulding Farnham for'Tiffany & Co' New York, 1890 being exhibited by Véronique Bamps

Monaco-based Véronique Bamps specializes in European and American jewelry dating from the early 19th century to the 1950s. She will bring a range of collectible pieces, including a late 19th Century gold, enamel and diamond brooch by Tiffany & Co; as well as jewels from Cartier, René Boivin and Van Cleef & Arpels. 

Diamond and platinum ring by Suzanne Belperron, circa 1930, being exhibited by SJ Shrubsole 

Among the jewelry pieces being shown by New York-based Primavera Gallery is a Victorian ring for Queen Mary of Scots. SJ Shrubsole, also in New York, will showcase a diamond and platinum ring by Suzanne Belperron. From the Netherlands is A. Aardewerk Antiquair Juwelier.  

In addition to jewelry, exhibitors will present works across multiple collecting areas including furniture, art and interior design. It also includes at decoration, ceramics, glass, silver, textiles, tapestries, antiquities, paintings, sculptures, books, manuscripts, autographs, arms and armor, Tribal, Oceanic and Ethnographic Art, Asian Art and Fabergé.

The New York Fall fair is a joint venture between TEFAF and the art investment advisory firm, Artvest Partners. 

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Hong Kong Jewelry Fair Attracts 55,000 Buyers


The September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair trade fair capped its 34th edition with 55,768 unique buyers from 147 countries and regions.

The attendance, which still ranks the annual event as the top fine jewelry trade fair in the world, is a 3.2 percent decline from the prior year. It is the second consecutive year that the fair saw a drop in attendance. In 2015, the fair attracted 57,616 unique visitors, which was a 2.5 percent drop from the prior year. 

There was also a decline in the number of exhibitors at the fair. The 3,615 exhibitors from 55 countries and regions was a 3.6 percent decline over the prior year.

Celine Lau, director of Jewellery Fairs, UBM Asia, noted that the buyers remained optimistic and centered on large carat diamonds, precious stones, South Sea pearls, fine finished jewelry, tools, packaging and equipment. 

“We observed that the number of quality buyers remained steady at this edition; their presence is an encouraging sign that points to the jewelry industry’s continued development and significant growth,” Lau said. 

Certain countries showed growth in visitor numbers, among them: 

* India, up by 423 visitors, around 14-percent increase from last year; 

* Myanmar, up by 196 visitors or roughly 75 percent up from last year; 

* Belgium, up by 106 buyers or around 32 percent up from last year; 

* Australia up by 80 visitors or roughly 12 percent up from last year; Japan up by 78 visitors or 6 percent up from last year; 

* United Kingdom, up by 76 visitors or roughly 22 percent up from last year; and Israel up by 66 visitors or roughly 25 percent up from last year.


Below is an additional breakdown of visitor numbers at the Fair, held at the AsiaWorld-Expo from September 13 to 17 and the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre from September 15 to 19:

* The number of visits recorded during the Fair was 118,799.

* Hong Kong-based visitors totaled 16,328, accounting for nearly 30 percent of the total number of visitors. The rest of the visitors: 39,440, or over 70 percent of the overall total, were from overseas.

* Top 10 sources of visitors: The largest group of visitors came from mainland China. At 17,412, the number of visitors from mainland China again surpassed the number of Hong Kong-based visitors. Hong Kong region follows with 16,328; India, 3,403; the United States, 1,948; Taiwan region, 1,670; Thailand, 1,605; Japan, 1,398; the Philippines, 1,144; Korea, 988 and Australia, 738. 

Commenting on the fact that 70 percent of the total number of visitors was from outside Hong Kong, Lau says this makes the September Fair a very good barometer of business sentiment in the jewelry industry. 

Lau added that the September Fair takes the lead in setting agenda that would contribute to the development of the jewelry industry. She noted the launch of a new initiative, called the “Declaration Programme on Exhibits of Natural Diamond.” Participants in the program had a poster from the initiative, demonstrating to buyers that diamonds from these exhibitors were natural. This program provided an easier and quicker way for buyers to make an informed decision when purchasing diamonds. Participants in the program were members of global diamond trade organizations, including the Diamond Federation of Hong Kong, the Antwerp World Diamond Center, Belgium, and the Israel Diamond Institute.

“It is in our interest, and in the industry’s interest, that we provide a healthy and professional business environment,” said Wolfram Diener, senior vice president of UBM Asia. “The program ensures that buyers get the proper, sufficient information about the products being offered at our fairs. We know there is a market for both natural and synthetic diamonds, and we want to be a platform for both. We are happy to have both at our show, but it is important that the buyers are well informed.”

Lau added: “The feedback from the participants regarding this initiative was positive. They acknowledged that we are going in the right direction.”


Participants also saw improved security measures on “Identity Verification at Entrance” in place; UBM Asia initiated the enhancements last year.

During the September Fair, nine seminars, one diamond auction, two pearl auctions, one conference, four jewelry fashion shows and other special events were held at the two venues.

Next year, both the June Fair and the September Fair will reach new milestones: the June Fair will celebrate its 30th anniversary while the September Fair will celebrate its 35th anniversary. 

“We are planning some new features that will further enhance buyer experience at our shows,” Lau said. “We will launch a new theme pavilion named CORE, which will be located in Hall 1C-E at the HKCEC. It will house esteemed fine finished jewelry companies that have supported the Jewellery & Gem Fairs, and consider Hong Kong as the platform from which they grow their business. In the process, they have helped propel the city and witnessed its rise as a global jewelry industry powerhouse.” 

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Asia’s Fashion Jewellery & Accessories Fair Attracts 7,500 Buyers


The 14th edition of Asia’s Fashion Jewellery & Accessories Fair – September attracted 7,501 international buyers over four days. The majority of buyers came from overseas—from 103 countries and regions—accounting for 56 percent over the overall total. Buyers from mainland China and Hong Kong accounted for the remaining 27 percent and 17 percent, respectively.

The fair was held September 13 - 16 at AsiaWorld-Expo in Hong Kong. 

The top 10 sources of visitors, excluding China and Hong Kong were led by India, USA, Japan, Taiwan region, Korea, Thailand, Australia, Italy, Germany, and the Philippines. Altogether, the top 10 accounted for roughly 35 percent of the total number of visitors.

“The visitor statistics reflect 9FJ’s international status and industry support for this event. This edition also benefitted from our increased investment in promotional activities across different channels as well as the exciting attractions it offers, such as the popular Editor’s Choice,” said Celine Lau, Director of Jewellery Fairs at UBM Asia Ltd.

The fair occupied 11,360 sqm of exhibition space with 402 exhibitors from 14 countries and regions. There were five group pavilions at the fair, representing mainland China, India, Korea, the Philippines and Taiwan region. 

“With men’s jewellery trending up, the Stainless Steel Jewellery Pavilion continues to be a popular destination for buyers,” Lau said. 

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

8-Carat ‘Sky Blue Diamond’ Could Be Yours For $25 Million


The latest blue diamond to come up for auction is an 8.01-carat fancy vivid blue diamond being called the “Sky Blue Diamond.” It is the top item in Sotheby’s auction of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels in Geneva to be held November 16. 

The ring set on a Cartier mount surrounded by white diamonds, has a presale estimate of $15 - $25 million.

Describing the diamond, David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, said, “The Sky Blue Diamond is of a wonderfully clear celestial blue, presented in an extremely elegant square emerald cut—in my view, the most flattering of all the cuts for a colored diamond.”

In recent years, colored diamonds have been highly prized at auctions with blue diamonds being the most sought after—setting numerous records. Among them:

* The 14.62-carat “Oppenheimer Blue” diamond, which sold for more than $57.5 million at Christie’s Geneva in May, setting a world record for any jewel sold at auction. 

* The 12.03-carat “Blue Moon of Josephine,” which sold for $48.4 million at Sotheby’s Geneva, November 2015, setting a world record for the price per carat for any diamond or gem at just over $4 million.

* The 9.75-carat Zoe Diamond, which sold for more than $32.5 million at Sotheby’s New York, November 2014.

* The 10.10-carat Millennium Blue Fancy, which sold for more than $31.8 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, April 2016.

* The 24.18-carat “Cullinan Dream,” which sold for $25.3 million at Christie’s New York in June. 

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Friday, October 7, 2016

Portland Jewelry Symposium: A Forum For Innovation In The Jewelry Industry

Jim Tuttle of Green Lake Jewelry Works, Jennifer Dawes of Jennifer Dawes Design and Travis Isaacson of Lashbrook, spoke about their personal experiences with selling custom jewelry. Photo by Anthony DeMarco

Jewelry professionals who attended the ninth annual Portland Jewelry Symposium received a great deal of information on the technology, craft and artistry of jewelry making. They discovered ways to improve their business and their digital media results; and they learned about the responsibility associated with the making and selling of jewelry. 

The event held Sunday and Monday in Portland, Ore., was attended by 125 jewelry professionals (primarily independent business owners) from 12 western states and Canada, including designers, manufacturers, metalsmiths and retailers. Its focus this year was responsible sourcing (as I have written about previously: link and link) but in the eight sessions on Monday presenters exchanged ideas on a number of topics ranging from the highly technical to the wildly creative. 

The more technical presentations included Jim Binnion, an expert on metalsmithing and goldsmithing techniques who discussed his process for developing a new method for preparing 3D acrylic photopolymer patterns for investment casting, a complicated but important topic with the recent proliferation of 3D printers in the jewelry industry.

Teresa Frye, founder of the Portland Jewelry Symposium, provides an overview of what jewelers should known about precious metals metallurgy. Photo by Anthony DeMarco

Teresa Frye, founder of the Portland Jewelry Symposium and owner and president of TechForm Advanced Casting Technology in Portland, presented a technical overview of what jewelers should known about precious metals metallurgy. This includes discussions on porosity, microstructure, mechanical strength, and the effects of alloying elements.

Frye said she started the symposium nine years ago to fill a need in the northwest United States primarily for independent jewelry retailers, designers and manufacturers. The event has steadily grown over the years. Frye said the symposium prides itself on being a non-commercial venue for jewelry professionals.

Jewelry designer Chris Ploof describes the creative process during his presentation on Mokume Gane. Photo by Anthony DeMarco

It was modeled after the Santa Fe Symposium, founded more than 30 years ago by Eddie Bell, director of technology for Rio Grande, Inc., perhaps the largest jewelry industry supplier of tools, equipment and know-how in the U.S. Frye has participated in the event as a presenter and attendee for many years. 

The Santa Fe Symposium is international, attracts some of the largest jewelry companies and is the closest thing to a scientific process in the jewelry industry. Large manufacturing representatives present highly technical white papers on new findings in jewelry making production. The non-commercial networking aspect among these professionals is cited as one of the key reasons for its success. 

Frye says the Portland symposium is a bit different in that it is geared toward smaller companies and is bit broader in terms of presenting highly technical white papers with artistic and business presentations. It received the blessing of Eddie Bell and Rio Grande is one of its major sponsors, providing bench jewelry demonstrations.

Frye expressed confidence that the Portland symposium will continue to grow. 

“There’s a national need for this type of non-commercial event in the type of setting with a more intimate environment than a tradeshow.”

Several attendees said the non-commercial networking environment is one of the best parts of the annual gathering. 

“You don’t feel like you’re in an environment where you’re being sold. You are able to relax a little and enjoy the people who are here,” said Jennifer Shaline a bench jeweler at Beaudet Jewelry, Eugene, Ore. The self-claimed “too junkie” was also at the show headhunting for full-time employees. This is her second time at the event. 

Networking had a direct impact on jewelry designer Ali Peret of Troutdale, Ore. He was specifically looking to find information on 3D jewelry design. The schedule didn’t have this topic this year but during networking he met a 3D jewelry design instructor from the Gemological Institute of America. 

“This is exactly why I come,” said Peret, who has attended the symposium a few times in the past.

Andrea Hill describes how to adapt Lean Manufacturing to small jewelry operations. Photo by Anthony DeMarco

Andrea Hill of Hill Management Group, a consultancy for the jewelry industry, presented a tutorial on Lean Manufacturing, a systematic method for the elimination of waste within a manufacturing system. This system was developed in Japan and is flexible enough to use for a variety of manufacturing processes, including those in the jewelry industry.

“It’s a system that trains an organization to look at itself from the outside in and to make all improvements accordingly,” Hill told the jewelers. “It provides value through the eyes of the customer by designing your business and processes around your customer.”

She added, “This core concept of lean is very accessible to the small business and if you’ll embrace you’ll see benefits in your business.”

Hill has been a longtime presenter and attendee of both The Portland and Santa Fe Symposiums. 

“Teresa (Frye) does a really good job,” Hill said after her presentation. “She packs a lot of content into a day.” 

She adds that’s there is no other place in the northwest United States where such a diverse group of jewelry professionals can get together in such a supportive environment. 

Chris Ploof explains the true worth of what someone buys from a designer. Photo by Anthony DeMarco

Jewelry designer Chris Ploof of Leominster Mass., gave a presentation on the history of the Japanese art of Mokume Gane and described techniques to produce the distinctive design in a modern jewelry workshop. 

It was one of the more entertaining and informative presentations on such a difficult topic. It included a chart on the artist process that read: “Work begins; F#*k off; panic; All the work while crying; Deadline”

Mokume Gane is a technique that produces a wood-like grain in metal. It’s done by fusing several layers of different colored precious metals together then manipulating it in a way that a pattern resembling wood grain emerges over the surface. There are several techniques are used to produce a variety of effects.

Three jewelry designers (Jim Tuttle of Green Lake Jewelry Works, Jennifer Dawes of Jennifer Dawes Design and Travis Isaacson of Lashbrook), spoke about their personal experiences with selling custom jewelry.

Lake Giles of Thinkspace Jeweler of Portland, which creates cloud-driven website management systems and internet marketing services for jewelers, told attendees how they can successfully manage their own website Search Engine Optimization (SEO) without hiring consultants. 

“There are better ways to advertising digitally,” he said. “Google ad words, Pandora radio, Facebook, email marketing lists. They all have their pros and cons. SEO is frequently less attractive than these other channels.

He also encouraged jewelers to use social media (perhaps the only industry on earth that needs such encouragement). 

“At least create those accounts, claim those business names on social media sites shows your biz is alive,” he said. 

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