Fine and trendy jewellery collections, and gem-quality gemstones basked in the Las Vegas limelight as buyers’ appetite for top-end and fashionable goods remains firm.
Niveet Nagpal of California-based Omi Privé and Omi Gems said customer response to his fine coloured gemstone jewellery pieces was positive. The company, which has won several accolades for its one-of-a-kind gems, presented pieces set with alexandrite, spinel and classic stones at JCK Luxury.
“Alexandrite is one of my favourite gemstones. It is such a unique and rare stone with colour-change properties, and it’s becoming increasingly rare,” Nagpal said. “I also love spinel, a bright and beautiful stone that comes in so many different colours. It is very similar to sapphire but even brighter. It comes from so many different places and in many different colours that they give you so much versatility in design. I think the value has gone up for spinel as more and more people learn what it is, but I think it is undervalued for how beautiful it is. It is less expensive than rubies and sapphires but it’s rarer and more beautiful. I still think there is a lot more room for spinel to grow.”
At JCK Las Vegas, H. K. Designs likewise drew attention to its new jewellery brand, Magnificence.
“Magnificence has a very simple yet unique setting style,” said the brand’s Nidhi Dangayach. “The diamond is sealed into the centre of an elegant glass lens, which magnifies the stone’s size and beauty.”
The innovative lens captures and amplifies light to create a “glowing, extravagant piece of jewellery from an otherwise modest stone,” the company said.
The design and technology – its patent is pending – allows small stones to appear significantly larger and more radiant, it noted. For instance, a 0.50-carat stone has the appearance of a 1-carat diamond, making it appear twice its original size, Dangayach explained.
Hasu Dholakiya, president of H. K. Designs, commented, “We expect that this new innovative collection will be a game-changer and revolutionise the industry.”
Most of the exhibitors interviewed by JNA said the show registered less foot traffic compared with the previous year but the buyers who showed up were serious and came with shopping lists. Diamond, coloured gemstone and finished jewellery suppliers said they received the most enquiries for sellable goods – entry-level diamond and coloured gemstone jewellery – and high-end pieces for collectors. Those offering “edgier” and on-trend collections said they were happy with their sales results.
Steven Rahimi, owner of New York-based Steven Royce and a JCK Luxury exhibitor, came to the fair with realistic expectations. “If I go home with two to three new customers, I’d be happy,” Rahimi said. Steven Royce specialises in classic collections set with quality stones – from emeralds and sapphires to alexandrites and tanzanites.
Overall, vendors who had something different or “special” to offer retailers said they did solid business at JCK.
Chi Huynh, artist and founder of Galatea: Jewelry by Artist, said his booth was “the busiest at the show” because he was offering something extraordinary. The company, known for its Galatea carved pearls, launched several pieces including its Pomegranate Pearl pendant and earrings, which are part of the brand’s Pearl Berries Collection. The hand-carved Tahitian pearls are studded with tiny pink tourmalines and set in 14-karat gold.
Another innovative collection is Galatea’s Bird’s Nest Pearl, which comes in many sizes and pearl colours. The baroque pearls are carved and adorned with druzy stone in their crevices, a tiny pearl and a golden bird.
“What you can find from us is available nowhere else,” Chi said.
Meanwhile, diamond manufacturers noted that most of the buyers placed orders for “sure-fire” goods – SI, Triple Ex, H-I colour stones – from 50 points and above. Diamond buyers, however, were not keen on further stocking up their existing inventories. “They only buy what they can sell,” according to an Israeli supplier. “People remain cautious.”
Suppliers of coloured gemstones in calibrated sizes did relatively well at the show. Thailand-based China Stone said orders for fancy sapphires were up, adding that the company secured new business from small- and medium-sized jewellers. Dealers of sapphire, emerald and ruby said business remained steady although some buyers found emerald prices too steep recently due to tight supply.
According to the show organiser, JCK drew more than 30,500 industry professionals. The weeklong event was shifted from its traditional day pattern to accommodate several hundred of JCK’s exhibitors who observed the Jewish Shavuot Holiday.
LUXURY, JCK’s high-end event that opened by invitation only three days beforehand, featured a design component, with its new “Design @ LUXURY” section. LUXURY featured 248 exhibiting brands and an increase in retailer attendance with 2,600 retailers attending its invitation days, the organiser said. JCK was home to over 2,178 exhibiting vendors and welcomed 19,200 retailers. “Although attendance was slightly down over the previous year, initial research shows transactions were well ahead of the previous year,” according to the fair organiser.
“Buyers came to do business. We have seen and heard positive remarks on the increase in the amount of transactions that took place this year compared to the previous year. The first day of JCK was just as strong as previous opening days, matching the same attendance figures we are used to seeing. In a world where we are seeing retail stores closing at an alarming rate, it is also refreshing to see over 1,200 new stores attend JCK for the first time,” said Yancy Weinrich, senior vice president of JCK.