The Vicenzaoro Winter 2013 was bigger and grander this time with a total number of 1,478 exhibitors spread over 28,420 square metres of exhibition space. Barring some parts of Europe, the global markets are slowly recovering and a healthy indicator of that was the 29,000 buyers who attended the show from different parts of the world to source some of the best designed, futuristic and trendy jewels. Held alongside the main Vicenzaoro fair, the 36th edition of Gold, the technology and gold processing machinery show, had 120 participants this year, and recorded a total of 12,000 visitors from five continents.
In tune with its mission, this year the Fiera di Vicenza organisers have planned a series of international summits themed under the title: The Future. Now for all its three editions.
The show, which is truly turning into an international one-stop-shop for sourcing couture jewellery, attracted visitors from Russia, the Middle East, Far East, Eastern Europe, and Greece among others. Known for manufacturing high quality jewellery, the Italian jewellery exports rose by 8.1% in value, but dropped in volume by 8.796 from January to September 2012, as compared with the same period in the previous year, according to a press release of the trade show.
In the period from January to September 2012, Switzerland continued to remain the main export destination for Italy, accounting for 21.9% of its total exports in value terms. The UAE accounted for 17.3% of its total exports, the US, 8.8%, followed by France with 6.8%. China, which accounted for 5.1% exports in value, registered a 19% increase year-on-year for the same period. Italians are also finding Russia to be a favorable export destination for their jewellery registering a growth of 10% for the same period in 2011.
In his press statement, Roberto Ditri, president of Fiera di 'Vicenza, said, "The influx of visitors is a positive sign for the jewellery world, especially for Italian-made products. If the abundance of Italian traders is a good sign, then the presence of foreigners, particularly in terms of the quality and determination of buyers, is extremely significant. At the moment the economy of the jewellery industry is dragging, and for this reason, the fact that we saw retailers from Canada, the US and Central America, Russia and the ex-Soviet Republics, Asia, the Middle East and Turkey is enormously satisfying. The increase in the number of visitors from the Balkans and Greece is also interesting.
Trends and more
Since Vicenzaoro is the first show of the year, many exhibitors, new and old, like to use it as a testing ground for checking the popularity of their innovative collections.
In general, though, gem slices continued to reign this season. Rose gold and rhodium-plated brown and black gold was the new flavor at the show. In order to keep the gold weight in check, three-dimensional forms articulated with thin wires, jewellery with negative spaces were a common sight at the fair. All this was obviously linked to the growing cost of the yellow metal. Top-end exhibitors like Garavelli also introduced 9-karat gold jewellery with jet. Sterling silver and gold-plated silver jewels were the new metals of choice. And so also was the use of alternative materials such as coloured leather, wood, fabric, resin, jet, and tulle.
Solitaire met many first-time exhibitors, who got a positive response for their unique collections that enticed international buyers.
Jonathan Le Vian, sales executive of Le Vian, New York, a debutant at the fair this year, said, "We have introduced a line set with neon tangerine fire opals. The Exotics line is set with different coloured diamonds such as blue, yellow, red, green and called mix berry blue berry, midnight berry, comes with National Radiation Certificates since the diamonds are irradiated."
The American firm is looking to expand its footprints in international markets this year. Although we are established in the US, UK, the Caribbean, and Canada, we want to establish ourselves in Europe, China and India, and we are moving in that direction. We are here to test this market. Based on the response to our collections, we will plan for the Vegas show" Le Vian has got positive responses faits Chocolate Bridal collection. "Many brides are favouring chocolate diamonds as centre stones for their bridal rings," explained Le Vian.
He anticipated a slowdown in the production of chocolate coloured diamonds, mined at Argyle. "We will have to wait until the miners go deeper into the earth to source rough. We are starting to procure the stones in advance to meet the growing demand. A huge percentage of our sales come from the bridal segment," said Jonathan Le Vian. "Currently, the trend seems to be tilting towards strawberry gold, and honey gold set with Vanilla diamonds. We also use a special, expensive black rhodium from Germany to make the coloured stones standout in contrast."
Revealing that he had visited India only last week, Jonathan said that he wants to understand and explore the market.
The show was a busy one for the firm. "It is about the visibility that marks our presence at the show. Many international visitors are surprised to see us here!"
Gaurav Nigam, director of a high-end jeweller, brand Nigaam, New York, said that they make different jewellery for different markets. While jewellery for the
US is more generic, for Hong Kong it is petite, and in the Gulf region it is bolder. At the fair, Nigam sold many pieces of the rose-cut tanzanite collection and the tassel collection created with emeralds, pearls and diamonds.
Another first-timer, Divine Gems, the Antwerp marketing associate of Indian-based firm H. Dipak, who have also introduced the jewellery brand Fabulous Unrounds, were positive about the show The firm, which specialises in limey cut diamonds, were pioneers in popularising the princess cut globally 17 years ago. They were also the biggest producers of princess cut diamonds. Today, however, they have a diversified portfolio of fancy cut diamonds such as heart, oval, pear, emerald, marquise, cushion and radiant. The brand uses a varied mix of diamond cuts (save the round cuts) to create some truly unique pieces. "Our biggest market for fancy cuts is America," says An kit Mehta director of H. Dipak. "There is a strong demand for fancy shapes in India and China as well. We are in Vicenzaoro to develop business in Europe, UK and France. However, we didn't want to enter new markets just as a loose diamond manufacturer. So, we have come up with this interesting jewellery brand to target the younger population across the world:
Hemant Shah of Priority, India, too, presented new collections, especially designed for the show The firm got a good number of queries for its silver jewellery with stained glass effect created by the use of coloured gems. "The gems are hand polished till they became transparent,' informed Shah. A generous use of quartz, emeralds and tourmalines made this collection a winner. Responding to a question about the brittleness of the jewellery that proclaimed 'handle me with care; Shah, revealed, "The surtilce does not get scratched, but yes, brittleness is the main issue with this collection. Even while polishing we experienced a 50% breakage of stones, but we could absorb the loss as quartz is not so expensive. However, the first pendant that came out of the lab took exactly a year, and was tried on by a subject for a month to check its wearability.