Low gold prices tempt shoppers at Sharjah jewellery exhibition
Sharjah - The exhibition features more than 500 master jewellers from more than 20 countries, and will continue until April 6.
Planning to take advantage of the drop in gold prices and scooping up the latest jewellery designs, shoppers flocked to the 46th edition of the Watch & Jewellery Middle East Show, which opened on Tuesday at Expo Centre Sharjah.
The five-day event is being held under the patronage of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and was inaugurated by Sheikh Salem bin Abdul Rahman Al Qasimi, Chairman of the office of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah. The exhibition features more than 500 master jewellers from more than 20 countries, and will continue until April 6, 2019.
"In 2018, gold had lost some of its luster due to market headwinds, but that is changing now. 2019 has taken off well for the gold and diamond jewellery industry in the region, and with the precious metal forecast to regain its shine in the next few months, the Watch & Jewellery Middle East Show is set to trigger an upswing for the jewellery industry," said Abdullah bin Sultan Al Owais, chairman of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) and Expo Centre Sharjah
Sajith Kottayan, regional manager of Sales at Devji Aurum, predicted that shoppers were in the mood to buy. "Nowadays, we have seen lots of small items in demand. Larger pieces are still popular, especially special pieces for bridal collections, but lots of customers today are going for practical pieces that can go with any outfit. Rose gold is very much in fashion right now; before, we saw lots of demand for white gold and then a surge in popularity for yellow gold, but right now rose gold is in fashion. Yellow gold is still very much in right now - especially when it comes to traditional jewellery - but we have been seeing a demand for rose gold mixed with white gold."
Asked about precious stones, he noted that diamonds continued to be popular with shoppers. "We are seeing a preference for pieces where the diamonds are not huge and demanding attention, but rather used in a more subtle and elegant way. We are showcasing our collection of these elegant everyday wear pieces, with prices starting from Dh2,500. These include rings, flexible bracelets, and even chain bracelets that connect with the ring."
Michael Hakimian, CEO of Yoko London, highlighted the company's repeated participation at the event, and the demand for pearls. "We have been doing this exhibition for many years now, and so we can say that we are very much in tune with the demands of the Gulf market. This year, we have brought over a completely new collection of over 200 stunning pieces. We are using Italian designers, English ingenuity, Australian pearls, and 45 years of experience to bring something very unique to our customers."
Speaking about some of the pieces being showcased, he revealed that while black pearls had not seen much interest, golden pearls enjoyed a lot of attention. "Golden pearls originate from a special oyster called the gold-lipped oyster in Indonesia and the Philippines. This year, we have witnessed a tremendous demand for golden pearls. Our speciality is that we hand make every piece of jewellery so customers get pieces that are really one of a kind. We get a lot of demand from the Gulf for events such as weddings, and many of our customers will come with swatches of what the bride and the guests will be wearing so that we can design pieces that compliment the outfits."
Like Kottayan, he said that there was an increasing demand for dainty jewellery. "A lot of customers have asked us to reduce the size of the pearls so that they can compliment pieces with lots of diamonds in them. Daily jewellery is also something that a lot of people are asking us to do; there is a demand for simple and elegant pieces which are affordable."
Bhavesh Vaya, CEO and gemologist at Dia Trendz, noted that when it came to the demand for coloured stones, the big three - rubies, emeralds, and sapphires - still reigned supreme. "For everyday wear and bridal designs, these three stones are always in fashion. When it comes to high end pieces, then we look at stones such as pink diamonds and yellow diamonds. However, these are expensive pieces that enjoy a surge in popularity when celebrities are seen wearing them. There is a demand for them definitely, but it is linked to what is fashionable in Hollywood and Bollywood."
Vaya also noted that long chains with flashy but elegant pendants are very much in demand among Emirati women. He explained that one of the reasons for this was because women from the UAE, and the GCC, wore them over their abayas. The jewellery had to complement the design of their abaya and shawl.