4 September 2018
Pearls with the most amazing lustre and shimmering iridescence are among the finest attractions of this year's September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair.
Featuring one of the largest and most comprehensive pearl marketplaces in the world, the September Fair is bringing together the Who’s Who in the business of pearls, from the most established loose pearl wholesalers who are recognised for their exacting and rigorous sorting standards to luxury jewellery manufacturers who create contemporary and yet timeless collections that show off the beauty of the “Queen of Gems.”
“The September Fair is unparalleled in terms of the breadth, depth and quality of its pearl exhibits,” said Celine Lau, director of Jewellery Fairs at UBM Asia. “If you’re looking for top-quality Akoya, South Sea, Tahitian and freshwater pearls – from rare single gems, matched pairs and strands to exclusive pearl suites and jewellery collections in fresh and modern designs – you will find them all at the show.”
The fair, now shaping its 36th edition, will have more than 3,700 exhibitors from close to 60 countries and regions housed in two world-class venues – the AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE) and the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). The two venues have a combined exhibition area exceeding 135,000 square metres.
Exhibits are grouped by product category for easier navigation. The jewellery materials section of the fair will be held at the AWE from September 12 to 16, bringing together mega-zones focused on Diamonds, Coloured Gemstones and Pearls.
Finished jewellery collections, and packaging, tools, equipment and industry-related technologies will be presented at the HKCEC from September 14 to 18.
The B2B show will host about 650 suppliers of loose pearls and finished pearl jewellery, including dealers from Australia, China, French Polynesia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Myanmar, UK and the US.
The leading names in Japan’s pearl industry promise to once again stand out and be seen at the world’s No.1 fine jewellery event.
The Japan Pearl Pavilion, one of the busiest and vibrant sections on the AWE show floor, will feature loose pearl dealers, while the Japan Pearl Jewellery Pavilion – one of the newest attractions at the HKCEC section of the fair – will showcase the finished pearl jewellery creations, according to Yoshihiro Shimizu, chairman of the Japan Pearl Exporters’ Association (JPEA). The two pavilions are both driven by JPEA.
“In addition to our pearl dealers and fine jewellers’ significant presence at the September Fair, we will implement a multi-facetted marketing plan during the show,” Shimizu said. “Miss Japan will once again be gracing the event to help raise awareness about our loose pearl and pearl jewellery pavilions, and our quality pearl merchandise. We will have a special display of gem-quality pearls, including exceptionally rare strands of Akoya, South Sea and Tahitian pearls. It’s going to be a very busy and exciting show for Japan’s top pearl specialists and hopefully, it’ll be an extremely informative, enriching and productive one for trade show visitors, too.”
To further connect and engage with China buyers, JPEA and the Japan Pearl Promotion Society have taken up exclusive sponsorship of the China Buyer Delegation Lounges located at both the AWE and HKCEC.
Shimizu revealed that the association will build on the momentum it has created in recent months to further raise the profile of Japan’s dynamic pearl sector. “We are exploring fresh ideas to highlight our presence at major trade shows like the September Fair,” he noted. “Our message remains consistent throughout: We are all about quality.”
Also at the HKCEC, the Japan Jewellery Association is organising a finished jewellery pavilion highlighting its members’ commitment to fine craftsmanship, manufacturing excellence and technical innovation.
The Tahitian Pearl Association Hong Kong (TPAHK) is likewise lining up marketing activities designed to further raise the profile of Tahitian pearls.
According to TPAHK General Manager Ida Wong, the marketing programme includes the distribution of promotional giveaways, namely Pearl Care Kits and Tahitian pearl pendants, exclusively for Tahitian pearl buyers at the show, and free pieces of pearl polish cloth to Pearl Pavilion visitors. The association will also distribute leaflets on the latest Tahitian pearl market trends; promote TPAHK’s redesigned website and social media platforms; raise visitors and exhibitors’ awareness on the launch of the JNA Jewellery Design Competition and one of its core themes, Asymmetric Perfection; and take part in the final judging round of the JMA International Jewellery Design Competition.
“The September Fair is the world’s biggest show, which exhibitors and buyers should not miss. At this show, we could share with pearl dealers and buyers the latest market information and trends, and call their attention to the rarity and uniqueness of Tahitian pearls,” noted Wong.
In terms of demand, high-quality round Tahitian pearls are currently the hottest items in the market, she adds. TPAHK’s strategic promotion of other fancy shapes – drop, circled, button, oval, baroque and keshi, among others – highlighting Asymmetric Perfection is anticipated to help boost the demand for other pearl shapes, Wong continues.
Timeless and modern
The natural elegance and grace of pearls are taking centre stage in the collections of several jewellers.
One of Hong Kong’s major pearl specialists, Wing Hang Jewellery Co Ltd is introducing its latest suites of fine white and golden South Sea pearls and keshi pearls. A must-see is its white and golden South Sea pearl necklace, earrings and ring in 18-karat gold embellished with natural diamonds. The necklace and earrings are inspired by the ribbon bow motif while the open ring features two four-petal flowers with a white and a golden South Sea pearl placed at the centre of each bloom.
Another special offering from Wing Hang is a statement six-strand necklace in 18-karat white gold adorned with a gold accent set with 5.57 carats of natural diamonds. The strands consist of Tahitian and South Sea keshi pearls with satin-like lustre.
Exhibiting under the Fine Gem Pavilion (FGP) at the AWE, Yoko London is presenting fine necklaces from its Royal Wedding Collection, which were inspired by the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. All of the necklaces feature Australian South Sea and Japanese Akoya cultured pearls set in 18-karat white gold and embellished with G-VS diamonds.
“Yoko London is unique because we work in the opposite way to most brands – rather than designing a collection and finding the pearls to fit, we find the best pearls and design around them. The pearl is the hero in every piece of our jewellery, and we celebrate that,” according to the company, which will also be offering fine loose pearls at FGP.
Hong Kong-based Rio Pearl will highlight the natural organic forms of baroque and keshi pearls in its latest collections, says company director Jonathan Cheng.
“We have been focusing more on one-of-a-kind items, using pearls such as baroques and keshis to create sensational pieces that are very different,” shared Cheng. One of Rio Pearl’s intriguing and fascinating pieces is a ring with a peacock Tahitian keshi pearl centre gem. The pearl is paired with a green tourmaline flanked by green garnet side stones, and the bands are set with purple sapphires.
“The September Fair gives retailers the opportunity to prepare their stocks for the most important season of the year. Retailers are looking for new items and something different to show their clients. Some may be looking for new takes on classic designs while others are searching for something exceptional for specific customers. We try to provide both ends of the spectrum for our buyers; hence, they can find everything they are looking for at our booth,” added Cheng.
Asked which goods are faring well at the moment, the Rio Pearl executive commented, “We have been redesigning classic models to fit current trends. You’ll find that the newer models will be lighter while still showcasing the pearl nicely. We are making different types of necklaces instead of the classic 16- to 17-inch items with a stronger focus on fashion. We are using other materials other than pearls to add a different dimension to the strands.”
At the moment, pearls measuring 8mm to 10mm in diameter have been selling quite well globally, Cheng continued.
Hong Kong-based Gyso Pearls & Jewellery Ltd is presenting collections ideal for casual everyday chic. Its Stingray Leather Collection, which consists of stingray bangles with circled Tahitian pearls, is stylish and gender-neutral, and could easily be worn with a pair of jeans or a cocktail dress.
Tai Woo Pearl & Gems Co Ltd is also giving its pearl jewellery a contemporary touch. The Hong Kong-based company, which has been engaged in the processing, assembly and wholesale distribution of pearls, and jewellery production for more than three decades, is launching the Tai Woo Blooming Pearl Collection. One of the collection’s fine pieces is a 32-inch freshwater pearl necklace with karat-gold and diamond spacers. The 14-karat gold spacers are in flower motif and set with diamonds. The necklace comes with a matching two-row freshwater pearl bracelet also embellished with a flower-inspired 14-karat gold and diamond spacer.