The 2011 edition of the Gem & Jewellery India International Exhibition (GJIIE) in Chennai grew bigger in terms of exhibitor and visitor numbers. The Fair, which was jointly organised by the Madras Jewellers & Diamond Merchants Association (MJDMA) and UBM India Pvt Ltd, witnessed the participation of more than 200 exhibitors and 14,000 buyers this year. The majority of visitors were from the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka.
This year’s GJIIE showcased a wide range of lightweight gold jewellery mainly due to soaring gold prices. Traditional 22-karat gold jewellery remained at the top of Indian buyers’ shopping lists, although many of them switched from chunky pieces to smaller and lighter weight designs, exhibitors said
“Exhibitors came up with a new range of small, delicate gold jewellery pieces catering to those with tighter budgets to complement their traditionally heavier gold jewellery collection,” said Yogesh Shah, chairman of GJIIE and vice president of MJDMA.
Kesar Golds of Chennai introduced lightweight and hollow pieces at the trade show. Its most popular merchandise at the Fair were 22-karat gold bangles in lightweight design, company executive Rajkumar Jain told JNA.
Lower price range
High gold prices also drove the demand for price-friendly silver and lower-karat gold jewellery items. “Our ‘Fusion Fiesta’ collection was well-received,” said Rakesh Sanghvi, director of Mumbai-based Union Chains & Jewellers Pvt Ltd. The manufacturer used sterling silver and 18-karat gold in its latest jewellery collections.
The company’s two other collections, “MiaItalian” and “Diamond Damsel,” also enjoyed robust demand, Sanghvi added. The former collection features 22-karat gold Italian-style jewellery, while the latter is comprised of 18-karat gold chain for diamond jewellery and 22-karat gold chain for antique jewellery.
“Buyers were also receptive to our ‘Divyavastra’ collection, which features handcrafted, custom-made silver apparel for religious items. Indians are very religious, and this is a market segment which we believe presents high-growth potential,” he said.
Designs with an international touch but crafted to suit the Indian consumer’s requirements were just as popular. “For the first time at GJIIE, we met with buyers not only from India, but also from overseas including Singapore, Dubai and Bangkok. They were drawn to our Turkish-style coloured gold jewellery pieces. The overwhelming market response has convinced us to expand our booth size at the Fair next year,” said Joseph Stanly, manager of Peeyar Manufacturers in Chennai.
When it comes to loose diamonds, fine-quality diamonds were particularly prized by South Indian buyers. “A lot of buying interest was there in the market, especially for stones in VVS clarity and D to F colours. Diamond prices have risen rapidly, which have deterred buyers from placing large orders. However, they were still looking for goods, especially star and melee diamonds – the prices of which have gone up by 20 to 25 percent since Diwali,” said Darshit Shah, marketing executive of DTC sightholder Kiran Gems Pvt Ltd, a first-time exhibitor at the Chennai fair.
Amish Kothari, assistant general manager of Shrenuj, shared Shah’s sentiments. “While buyers remained a little hesitant about high diamond prices, they still made purchases in response to strong market demand. The most popular merchandise were diamonds in VVS clarity and G colour and up which carried a price tag of $750 per carat,” Kothari said. He added most buyers were from the southern states including Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Ruby and emerald remained the most popular coloured gemstones in India. “We met with a lot of buyers from across the country. They splurged on ruby and emerald, followed by amethyst and tourmaline. The most saleable items were priced from 50 to 80 rupees per gram,” said Rahul Jain, company executive of Sunita Gems in Jaipur.
Gemtech Lapidary, a distributor in India for synthetic stones and marcassite manufacturer Durafourg, noted that the classic colours of red and green remained the hottest shades in India. “Indian buyers have a fondness for red and green stones, in sizes ranging from 1mm to 5mm and costing 3 rupees to 30 rupees a piece,” said Raju, a manager at Gemtech Lapidary.
Due to strong market demand, the GJIIE will be extended to four days in 2012, said Sanjeev Khaira, managing director of UBM India Pvt Ltd. “GJIIE 2012 will be held from February 23 to 26. We expect this Fair to continuously grow and expand,” Khaira said.
Occupying more than 12,000 square metres of exhibition space, the GJIIE 2011 drew more than 14,000 visitors from all over India
Small diamond jewellery by Emerald Jewel Industry India Ltd. Many Indian buyers switched from chunky pieces to smaller and lighter weight designs
Jewellery by Vasupati Jewellers. Traditional 22-karat gold jewellery remained at the top of Indian buyers’ shopping lists
Union Chains & Jewellers Pvt Ltd’s “Divyavastra” collection
Turkish-style coloured gold jewellery by Peeyar Manufacturers