Trade Shows


The February JA New York Show drew good crowds on its opening day and a steady flow of buyers walked the aisles on the following two days. Although the show was reduced in size from previous years – very few watch companies were there and foreign participation was limited – it attracted 740 exhibitors. The organizers reported buyer attendance of 7,404. The show is presented by National Jeweler magazine and Jewelers of America.

Most exhibitors appeared to be in a “holding pattern” for spring and merchandise was relatively unchanged from the major trends introduced last year. White metals, diamonds and pearls remained popular and there were signs of a possible renewal of colored gems set in yellow gold. The show concentrated heavily on bridal goods and included a bridal “show within the show.”

Other special sections included a Designer Gallery, an expanded Giftware Gallery and a Bench Jewelers Marketplace.

In the foreign section, the Italian presence was greatly expanded from the 1997 event; there also was a big contingent from Hong Kong.

At a press conference hosted by the Miller Freeman Jewelry Group, various show officials spoke of their commitment to New York as “the jewelry capital of the world.” There also were a number of announcements about events to be held during JA’s July Show.

The Italian Trade Commission said it will host a dinner reception at the summer event, in partnership with the Platinum Guild International of Italy. The American Jewelry Design Council will host a cocktail party and use the occasion for presentation of its annual “Benne” award. The New York State Jewelers Association will host a dinner cruise and the Gemological Institute of America will hold its annual Career Fair on July 17, the day before the show opens.

This is GIA’s eighth annual Career Fair; usually it is held in California. GIA reports last year’s event attracted more than 1,000 attendees and helped 200 find jobs.


The Southern Jewelry Travelers’ Association held its Atlanta Jewelry Show March 1-3 at the Cobb Galleria Centre.

Although some exhibitors said buying was slightly low, most felt this March event is maintaining its standards as a regional show which provides both local and national buyers a chance to spot trends as well as purchase for upcoming gift-giving seasons.

Platinum remains very popular, both in contemporary and estate jewelry. Audrey Kordansky of Nation-Wide Jewelry, Hollywood, Fla., attributes this popularity to the fact that “women want something different” and find platinum settings offer a refreshing new look. Her view was shared by Michael Fenwick of Michael Fenwick Inc., Montrose, Calif., and John Ewbank of Simon G. Jewelry Co. Inc., Los Angeles, Calif., two of the many exhibitors featuring diamond jewelry with platinum settings alongside their yellow gold pieces.

Silver also drew crowds. Seattle-based Kevin Kapin Manufactory offered an eye-catching line of sterling jewelry bell pendants in architectural, floral, celtic and other styles designed by Gordon R. Barnett. Some are available in 14k gold. The bells have gift and even collectible appeal.

Continuing trends include black pearls, stackable rings, diamond solitaire necklaces, slide bracelets and tanzanite. In fact, Pieter Hye of HP Creations, Roanoke, Tex., finds all colored stones attracting more interest, with stone quality and cut of utmost importance.

The Atlanta Show offered three seminars: “Customers That Come Back” by Ron Laughlin, a speaker certified by the American Management Association to lecture on retail sales management, marketing and training; “How to Profitably Price Custom Design and Repairs” by David S. Geller, owner of Jewelry Artisans in Atlanta; and, “The Sale Killers” by Shane Decker, a diamond and jewelry sales trainer and consultant. – Monica McLaughlin


Messe Basel announced that Tilman Hengevoss joined its management on Jan. 2. He was to take over from Michel Mamie effective March 1, in accordance with a long-term succession plan for management of Fairs Marketing II, which handles a number of events including the Basel World Watch, Clock and Jewellery Show.

Mamie is responsible for this year’s event, scheduled for April 22-29, but then strategic and operational management passes to Hengevoss. However Mamie, who has served Messe Basel for 29 years, will be a consultant for Basel 99. He is to retire in July 1999.

Hengevoss studied economics in Basel, Zurich and the U.S. After completing his dissertation, he held a lectureship at Zurich University. He joined ABB Marketing Services Ltd., went to Johnson & Johnson in 1991 and was marketing manager and a board member of Hero in Lenzburg in 1996-’97.


The Creative Metal Arts Guild’s 10th Annual Jewelry and Metal Design Show and Sale will be held April 23-26 at the World Forestry Center, Portland, Ore. This is the largest exhibition and sale of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, featuring original jewelry in both precious and non-precious metals, metal sculpture, musical instruments and other functional and decorative metal arts.

Contact Elizabeth and Jack Gualtieri, phone/fax (503)236-6735, or Jacqui Reed and Mark McNown at (503) 238-0363.


Applications are being accepted for the 1998 Celebration of Craftswomen fair. The largest juried women’s crafts fair in the U.S. is being held over two weekends at the Fort Mason Center’s Herbst Pavilion in San Francisco. Only original hand-crafted arts and crafts designed, executed and finished exclusively by the female exhibitor will be considered for the juried fair.

The fair is scheduled for Dec. 4-6 and 11-13. It is in its 20th year and expects to attract more than 20,000 craft collectors and holiday shoppers. Applications for entries must be received by May 15. Celebration of Craftswomen, c/o San Francisco Women’s Building, 3543 18 St., San Francisco, CA 94110; (415) 252-8981.


Jewelers International Showcase held its 32nd Miami Beach, Fla., show Jan. 17-19. The show caters primarily to buyers from Florida, the Caribbean Islands, Central and South America.

The JIS January Show has been held consecutively since 1980; JIS began an October show three years later. This year’s event, to be held Oct. 24-26, will showcase approximately 1,000 booths for the 6,500 attendees.


The 1998 International Write Show will be held May 31-June 2 at Bally’s Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nev. Sponsored by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association, the show will highlight the newest advances in writing instrument components and machinery.

To receive registration information, contact WIMA, 236 Route 38 W., Ste. 100, Moorestown, NJ 08057; (609) 231-8500, fax (609) 231-4664; e-mail:


The Manufacturing Jewelers & Silversmiths of America once again is organizing The American Pavilion at Basel ’98, World Watch, Clock & Jewellery Show. Twenty American jewelry manufacturers will be able to showcase their products April 22-29 to the 70,000 visitors at Basel. The size of the pavilion has been more than doubled.

The American exhibitors are A & Z Hayward, American Pearl Co., Kathrine Baumann Collectibles, Bielka, Christopher Design, Emiko Pearls International Inc., Kurt Gaum Inc., Gem Tech Jewelry Corp., Imperial-Deltah, International Jewelry Marketing, Karim Jewelers, LanTuch, Renaissance Pen Co., Signature Electronic Signs, Tara & Sons Inc., Top Ten Jewelry Corp., Tru-Kay Manufacturing, Christian Tse Designs, Tycoon and Yafa Jewelry Inc.


The Brazilian Institute of Gems and Precious Metals and the Minas Gerais State Jewellers and Gem Dealers Association are co-sponsoring the 2nd Brazil Gem Show, April 16-19. The show is the largest gem show in Latin America offering the best cut and rough gemstones produced in that country. The Gem Show is held in conjunction with the 1st JOMINAS – Jewelry and Watch Show of Minas Gerais.

The Hong Kong Watch & Clock Festival, March 5-8, was expected to attract more than 8,000 buyers from over 35 countries and regions. The show was sponsored by the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong, the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Association, the Indian Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong and the Shenzhen Watchmakers Association.

Jewellery Arabia ’97, held Nov. 12-15 in the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre, attracted more than 8,500 visitors including jewellery manufacturers, importers, wholesalers, traders and retailers. It featured 374 companies from 20 countries, and included national pavilions from France, Germany, India and Hong Kong. This year’s show will be held Nov. 4-7. Overseas Exhibition Services Ltd., 11 Manchester Sq., London W1M 5AB, UK; +44 (0)171-486-1951, fax +44 (0)171-935-8625; e-mail:

The Jewellery Council of South Africa will present Jewellex 1998 in Midrand, South Africa, on July 18-20. The show will provide buyers from Southern Africa, as well as worldwide, an opportunity to view watches, clocks, fine jewelry, pearls and precious stones, jewelry packaging, machinery, accessories and services. Four seminars will be offered.

Portugal’s Portojóia ’97 trade show attracted approximately 300 exhibitors and 10,100 trade visitors. The show offered gemstones, gold and silver articles, watches, machinery and components. The “Fashion Trends” section, showcasing the latest in goldsmithery, jewellery and watchmaking, was complemented by a “Live Setting” where models displayed selected pieces.

Tendence ’97 brought in more than 5,000 exhibitors and 100,000 trade visitors, 20% from outside Germany. The buying attitude at the show was said to reflect “restrained optimism.” Tendence ’98 will be held Aug. 29-Sept. 2. Messe Frankfurt Inc., International Trade Fairs, 200 Galleria Pkwy., NW, Suite 790, Atlanta, GA 30339; (770) 984-8016, fax (770) 984-8023.

Construction of Messe Basel’s new Building I will start May 8 and is projected to last 10 months. Designed by the Theo Hotz firm in Zurich, the 36,000-sq.-meter, two-level building is intended to provide greater flexibility rather than add work and display space. The building’s 200 exhibitors, especially those on the ground floor, will be able to erect two- and three-story stands. The complex of halls is mainly prefabricated, to ensure that the 1999 World Watch, Clock and Jewellery Show can proceed as planned.

Hong Kong Jewelry Manufacturers’ Exhibition ’97 gathered 141 local exhibitors at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Dec. 4-7. The show offered many varieties of precious metal gem-set jewelry. There were three seminars aimed at professionalism.

The 5th Malaysia International Jewelex ’98 show will be held Nov. 20-23 at the Putra World Trade Centre. Exhibitors from more than 20 countries, including the U.S., Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Israel, England and Belgium, are expected. Organizers say 12,000-plus manufacturers, dealers, traders, wholesalers, importers/exporters and buyers will attend.


The 1998 Pacific Jewelry Show, being held at the Disneyland Hotel Aug. 22-24, will offer a special seminar by Disney personnel. “Driving Toward Excellence” is a two-hour seminar hosted by Disney that will highlight the philosophies of leadership at Disney.

The presentation will focus on the expectations, training and development, and performance management of leaders. “Although the program will be about Disney’s way of leadership, it can easily be applied to even the smallest independent jewelry stores,” said PJS co-chairs Richard Horne and Pat Patten.

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