By Bernardette Sto. Domingo
Business was steady for majority of exhibitors at the March Istanbul Jewelry Show amid the market’s growing demand for lightweight jewellery pieces and commercial items that are easier to sell.
Exhibitors at the 48th Istanbul Jewelry Show cited stable business during the four-day fair, with majority of them saying the fair was slower in terms of traffic and sales compared to the 2018 edition.
Vendors displayed an expansive range of of goods including gold, silver and gem-set jewellery; loose stones and pearls; jewellery mounting; and machinery and equipment at the fair, which ended March 24.
Gold jewellery pieces, followed by chains and jewellery mounting, were the stars of the show.
Major gold chain manufacturer Mioro offered a fresh selection of uniquely designed hollow chains, as well as bracelets and necklaces.
Gary Karabulut, export manager at Mioro, said buyers have been gravitating towards lightweight jewellery pieces of about 1 to 2 grams, which are more affordable. With gold prices now hovering around US$42,000 per kilo, customers are becoming even more prudent with expenses.
“Clients favour lighter products with exceptional designs. Some buyers however are still keen on investing in high-value products such as 21-karat to 22-karat gold jewellery, particularly those from the Far East, the Middle East and the domestic market,” revealed Karabulut.
Fahri Saygi, sales manager at wedding band manufacturer Tarz Alyans, echoed this sentiment, noting that buyers are mostly requesting lighter rings. For instance, buyers would ask for a pair of hollow, gold rings weighing about 7 to 8 grams as opposed to around 10 to 11 grams in the past.
The company also manufactures heavier rings, depending on what buyers require.
Tarz Alyan’s main markets are Germany, Switzerland, Greece, the UK, Romania and Russia. New markets for the company include Canada, New York and Asia.
Gokhan Guner, general manager of Storks, meanwhile observed that professional buyers have become more receptive to trying modern designs and materials, with a greater focus on the export market. But with global economic and political uncertainties, customers are also staying on the safe side.
“What’s selling now are tried-and-tested designs and commercial products that move easily, especially those priced around US$1,000 to US$1,500 per product. Clients want to sell their goods faster and don’t want to be stuck with dormant inventories,” noted Guner.
Some companies likewise found new clients from non-traditional markets. Sejfula Bushi of Annda Fine Jewelry, for instance, entertained customers from Libya and Iran, which he said was a welcome development.
The 48th Istanbul Jewelry Show, organised by UBM Rotaforte and sponsored by Turk Ekonomi Bankasi, featured more than 1,250 companies from 24 countries. A total of 30,741 professional buyers from 123 countries attended the fair.