Mumbai’s IIJS brings the country’s best and brightest jewelers
Vicenza, Hong Kong, JIS Miami, Privé Panama…Bapalal Keshavlal president Romy Mehta was in his booth at the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council’s India International Jewellery Show in August, detailing his 2012 trade show schedule.
“Eight shows in three months,” he chuckled. ’Round-the-world travel is the backbone of Bapalal’s business: “We are mostly international.” Yet Mehta couldn’t miss his hometown show.
Designers, retailers, manufacturers “have to come” to IIJS, insisted Vijay Golecha of Golecha’s Jewels. If you aren’t here, “you are nowhere.” The jeweler said he did “excellent” business with high-end pieces such as a 200 ct. rose-cut diamond Rajasthani collar. It took two and a half years to make, and like many of his creations, it’s two-sided but not reversible. (“The back design is just for you,” he whispered.) Customers want “uniqueness,” he said. “They don’t want to follow any chain.”
Mehta, a show veteran, described his company’s business as “very good.” He had sold a feathery-light 70 ct. diamond bib necklace with matching drop earrings (retail estimate: $250,000–$300,000); he had orders for two or three more. Chain-link–style diamond bracelets are big with U.S. buyers, he said. “And emerald does very well at present.” But when doesn’t emerald do well?
The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC)
Golecha’s Jewels at India International Jewellery Week, the precursor to IIJS
The traffic at the Aug. 23–27 fair elicited a quiet I-told-you-so reaction from GJEPC. “I have been hearing that there is some business,” vice chairman Sanjay Kothari told the media midshow. “People had…low expectations.”
On the effect of diamond prices: “Everyone has been affected,” said Shreyans Dholakia, director at Mumbai-based Shree Ramkrishna Exports. “Customers are changing their perceptions because they want to buy them.” And anyone worried that precious-metal costs might scare buyers needed to look only to Hall 6 of the Bombay Exhibition Center—they were lined up three-deep for solid 18k gold eyewear. All the better to see the gold price with!