Mumbai Calling: On Site at the 2018 IIJS

The 35th India International Jewellery Show was bigger and blingier than ever

Fresh from an expansion highlighted by a new 116,000-square-foot exhibition area, the 35th annual India International Jewellery Show (IIJS), held Aug. 8–13 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai, saw an increase in both traffic and sales, suggesting a positive outlook for the upcoming Indian festive season.

The show, organized by India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), included a new invite-only “Prelude to IIJS” preview day on Aug. 8 followed by an evening of fashion showcasing the jewels of 15 couture manufacturers. However, the real draw was the new exhibition area, Hall 7A, complete with 800 extra booths.

“All the top diamond and gold manufacturers are in Hall 7…with extravagantly constructed booths, a spacious look, and quality buyers,” said Priyanshu Shah, director of A’Star ­Jewellery. “There is a big expansion phase in the Indian jewelry industry.”

IIJS, home to some 1,300 exhibitors spanning 2,500 booths, drew more than 40,000 visitors from across India, up 14 percent from 2017. GJEPC vice chairman Colin Shah called the show a reflection of “the vibrancy in the market at present. With the Indian economy performing well, there is a strong hope that the industry is entering a period of prosperity.”

On the show floor, the unspoken theme of the fair was “the modern woman.” At booths big and small, collections appealed to self-purchasing women with the use of pink gemstones and rose gold. Ghanshyam Dholakia, founder and managing director of Hari Krishna Exports Pvt. Ltd., said the company’s new Honour collection of jewelry (“to honor a woman”) was “very well received by retailers.” 

Besides always-in-demand gold jewels, bridal sets and jewels set with colored stones such as morganite, coral, and turquoise were among the show’s standouts. Newer materials like Italian blown glass in necklaces by designer Anand Shah and pastel shades of leather in contemporary bangles at Oro also garnered an enthusiastic response.

Hot topics at the fair included De Beers’ new Lightbox lab-grown diamond jewelry subsidiary and recent changes to the FTC’s Jewelry Guides.

“The [Diamond Producers ­Association] has always been clear that more fair and transparent ­practices need to be adopted by synthetic diamond producers,” said DPA’s CEO, Jean-Marc Lieberherr. “The FTC guidelines…leave a lot of space for ambiguity for marketers.”

Royal Treasurer necklace with molded glass, emerald, and 22k gold; $14,285; Anand Shah; 91-982-189-9008; Instagram: @anand_shah_golden_jewels

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