SINGAPORE: The Singapore International Jewellery Show is back, showcasing more than US$120 million worth of exquisite jewellery. This year’s show, the eighth so far, is also the biggest one to be held in Singapore.
The four—day show at the Marina Bay Sands will feature some 190 exhibits from more than 20 countries in the form of diamonds, and rare natural gemstones.
The jewel in the crown however, is a 99—carat Ceylon blue sapphire, which costs some US$6 million. It is the largest natural blue sapphire ever showcased in Singapore.
It was issued a Platinum Rarity Award Issue certificate by the Gem Research Swisslab (GRS), which is presented only to a handful of outstanding gemstones after comparing them to records and data of the most high—profile gems that have passed through the most recognised auction houses in the world.
Prince William had presented his then—fiancee Kate Middleton with a Sri Lankan Blue Sapphire and diamond engagement ring, which was worn by his mother, the late Princess Diana.
Asia’s growing gem sector
Growing demand has boosted the region’s jewellery sector — it is now worth more than US$50 billion. This according to experts at the Singapore International Jewellery Show 2012.
And with rising affluence in Asia, this sector is expected to grow between 10 to 15 per cent over the next two to three years.
Bassam Chehaiber, Development Manager with Yuli Fine Jewellery, said: "Asians in general are the most knowledgeable about gems, about rare gems and how to buy them and how to invest in this kind of gemstones.
"Only in Asia, they actually sit down and they know what they are buying and they know how much to invest and they know the rarity of the gemstones."
The demand for gemstones seem immune to the global economic slowdown.
Charles Ho Nai Chuen, Chairman of Singapore International Jewellery, said: "Most wealthy people are looking for opportunities to invest in commodities and rare gemstones, because the QE situation in US is likely to happen, so confidence in currencies may be depleting.
"So I believe people are looking to invest in something very rare, where they can keep and preserve the value instead of holding currencies."
There is also room for further growth in this sector.
Anura Priyadarshana, Sri Lanka’s Minister of Environment, said: "From my own experience in my own country, we have seen a tremendous increase in revenue in the gem sector because lots of news customers are coming up in China, certain parts of Russia, Bangkok, Singapore and Hong Kong.
"If we can really market it well, if we have really good brands and nice products, hopefully that is the key to developing the gem sector in the Asian region."
India is currently the largest jewellery market in Asia, exporting US$43 million worth of jewellery in 2011, followed by China and Japan.
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