The 34th annual India International Jewellery Show (IIJS) got underway in Mumbai on Thursday to its largest turnout yet, according to Shri Praveenshankar Pandya, chairman of the show’s sponsor, the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India (GJEPC).
“We have been able to take the exhibition to another level,” says Pandya, noting there are 2,200 exhibitors attending and 35,000 exhibitors registered from more than 80 countries. Pandya explained that the show’s demand is currently outweighing its capacity to accommodate exhibitors, something show organizers have been steadily working on.
“In a couple of years, I think we can fulfill the waiting list and [accommodate] all people who want to be part of this exhibition,” he explains. “India has the largest number of workers in jewelry, not just in diamonds. Nobody—not even China—has the same number of workers as India. And currently, they are largely employed in handmade jewelry. We have very fine artistic labor which needs to combine with our technological advancement which will help India achieve leadership in exports of jewelry.”
JCK was there to check out the show’s exhibitors with their offerings that ranged widely from plain gold, loose stones, and synthetics to mass-produced and couture collections. We’re talking everything from microscopic diamonds to a massive diamond-gemstone-encrusted necklace that probably costs more than your house.
The diamond industry was also out in full force. At the outset of the show, GJEPC announced that it would donate $2 million per year for the foreseeable future to the Diamond Producers Association (DPA), which is launching a $60 million Generic Diamond Marketing of Diamonds campaign in India.
Gold dress with pearls, rubies, and emeralds, price upon request; Sangam Jewels N Gold LLP
Display case featuring an oversized gold necklace and cuffs, price upon request; Kanak Ratna
Gold and enamel necklace with an elephant pendant, price upon request; Ansaa Jewellers
(Top: Gold bib with diamonds, emeralds, and rubies, price upon request; Mulchand R. Shah; All images by the author)