Feb 14, 2019

Signature IIJS 2019 Underlines the Importance of Fresh Collections, Innovative Product and Preparedness

The curtain came down on the Signature IIJS 2019 yesterday, February 13, 2019 with a   steady, measured rhythm of conducting business marking the four days of the show. 

“The Signature IIJS this year was a moderately successful show with about 14,000-15,000 visitors attending,” summed up Shailesh Sangani, Convener of the National Exhibitions Sub Committee of The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), the organiser of the show.

Sangani went on to say that those exhibitors who had prepared for the show and had a “newness” in their lines, did better. He pointed out that, despite the high price of the yellow metal, even many of the gold jewellery exhibitors did well – which came as a surprise to many.

“The experience on the floor at the show demonstrated that there is a momentum in the market,” Sangani said. “Retailers are selling at the consumer level, that is why they came to the show and were buying.”

Another important point raised by Sangani was to do with the quality of the buyers attending Signature IIJS.  “This show is very focussed,” he remarked. “People who come, are serious buyers; hardly anyone comes just to visit casually.  Retailers came to fill the gaps in their inventory and managed to do so.”

The market is increasingly moving to smaller and lighter jewellery, Sangani feels. “Gone are the days when heavy jewellery was the order of the day,” he notes.

“Ultimately, success at the show is all about how much marketing you have done – and most importantly, about the “freshness” of your product,” Sangani sums up.   

In terms of trends which could be discerned at the show, two were particularly noticeable: the popularity of long necklaces; and the profusion of colour – either through the use of coloured gemstones (most common) or enamelling and rhodium plating of gold in unusual colours.

Mamta Punjabi of Mumbai-based Lal Gems, specialists in coloured gemstones, said there was a lot of interest shown in tanzanite; and customers were booking sapphire and emerald. “The show was good, and we got some new customers as well,” she said. “But maybe it would be better if it included a weekend rather than starting on a Sunday, as that gives the retailers more free time to visit the show.” 

Hitesh Dusad of Bliss Gems & Minerals observed that pastel coloured gemstones were popular. “Lustre stones are moving well,” he observed.

The use of gemstones in jewellery is given exquisite expression in Birdhichand Ghanshyamdas’ (BG) collection, where a rainbow of colours highlight diamond, polki  and rosecut diamond jewellery.

“Those who visited the show were serious buyers,” said Yash Agarwal of BG echoing the general opinion. “They were looking for unique pieces, which are in demand and moved well – run-of-the-mill pieces are not moving easily.”

BG this year presented their new collection “Delhi Durbar”, the highlight of which is specially cut stones. They also have a new couture line. Jewel after jewel bore witness to the marriage between design and technology that produces the perfect pieces. An entrancing pair of diamond earrings with rosecut diamonds used vividly red prongs made of ruby! The red prong highlights were subtly used, given a fantastic look to the piece. It is the first time one had encountered prongs made of rubies.

At BG one was also introduced to the new kid-on-the-block – Russian emeralds. Of a pale green hue, and opaque in look, BG had used them in different ways in different pieces of jewellery to great effect.

Once introduced to them, one found that Russian emeralds have become very popular with the design forward companies. Sehul Shah of Rosentiques told us they have gained momentum over the last six to eight months. While Rosentiques uses a lot of coloured gemstone to stunning effect in their jewellery, their new introduction on the colour front was the use of red enamel in jadau jewellery. Again, the splash of vivid colour lifted the pieces from being traditional jadau jewellery to edgier pieces for the modern woman.

Tara Fine Jewels’ prolific stall is like a hothouse bursting with the most glorious gemstone jewellery blossoms. There are so many permutations and combinations, of such chunky opulence and richness that it makes one feel quite heady. Tara also uses Russian emeralds, tanzanite, and pink tourmaline apart from the ruby, emerald, sapphire trio. For added effect, rhodium plating in different colours is used – for example a beautiful peacock ear-cuff had gemstones set on blue rhodium plated gold to capture the scintillating colours of the bird’s body. The company sells only to the domestic market and is yet to foray into the export market.

“We have had a fantastic response,” enthuses Milan Chheda of Tara Fine Jewels. “We work with all the major retailers across the country.”

Nolkha of Jaipur which had an otherwise regular collection of gemstone jewellery was displaying two remarkable opera diamond necklaces. A bow to the popular trend, the necklaces are made from a long chain of small diamonds with square and round diamond beads grouped together at different places on the chain. Very evocative of the ’40s and ’50s Hollywood look. And utterly with it in 2019.

Saiyyam Mehra of Mumbai-based Unique Chains, a gold jewellery wholesaler says that smaller, lighter pieces between 2 gms-8 gms for earrings and 30 gms-40 gms for sets were moving best for them. “Having said that, I must say that designer pieces are most popular,” Mehra states, pointing to pieces which have worked in different elements like flowers and beads in the design, to make a shift away from traditional jewellery. 

Konal Doshi of Moder Impex also observes that despite the gold prices (approx Rs. 33,000/10 gm for 24 kt; and Rs, 31,000/10gm for 22kt at an average during the show), they did well at the show, as have many other manufacturers and wholesalers of gold jewellery.

Vaishali Banerjee, Managing Director of Platinum Guild International (PGI), India, sums up the show saying: “On the whole it was a good show. We had all our major retail partners visit and place orders.”

Richa Singh, Managing Director, India, of the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) also said exhibitors had expressed satisfaction at the show. What is more, it provided the perfect opportunity for the DPA to test out a new marketing idea being developed by them. We can’t reveal the big idea yet, but watch this space.