Highlights From the 33th IIJS in Mumbai

Vendors with a line to the U.S. market were all smiles

This year’s India International Jewellery Show (IIJS), held Aug. 4–8 in Mumbai, was a leaner affair: After five editions of the fashion show–focused India International Jewellery Week, organizers nixed the event to allow interest to build.

Elsewhere around IIJS, organizers promoted numerous initiatives to help exhibitors increase their sales.

To mark the jubilee year of operation for the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), the group invited a slew of special guests—including De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver. 

Cleaver joined GJEPC chairman Praveenshankar Pandya on opening day to cosign a memorandum of understanding, a plan to spark consumer demand for diamonds in India through a consumer marketing campaign.

“India is already one of the world’s most important markets for consumer sales of diamond jewelry,” Cleaver told the press. “We believe it has an exciting opportunity for further growth.” 

More plans to expand India’s share of the global diamond and jewelry business include better training for the country’s vast labor force and heightened efforts to highlight unique Indian craftsmanship by region.

On the show floor, sales to U.S. companies were a universal bright spot. In the past year, Vishal Zadafiya of Hari Krishna Exports has seen a 20 percent rise in U.S. sales, thanks in part to his My Diamond Story engagement rings sold to chains such as Zales. “It tells the whole story of their diamond—from rough to polished to the finished piece,” Zadafiya said. 

Meanwhile, Venus Jewel, a Mumbai-based manufacturer that sells more than half of its stones on VenusJewel.com, enlisted showgoers for its Venus Online Challenge to demonstrate its diamond-buying process. Buyers can “see and understand a diamond before purchase with up to 400 different parameters,” said managing director Mahiar Borhanjoo. “This allows us to capture the consumer’s heart and no longer battle the ‘I found this stone on Blue Nile, can you match this price?’?” phenomenon.

Ring in 18k gold with 0.75 ct. t.w. diamonds; $1,200; Kama Schachter, NYC; 212-704-2043; kamaschachter.com

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