A dazzling experience at two major Hong Kong international gems fairs
The Hong Kong International Jewellery Show runs every March and its 2,500 exhibitors attract over 50,000 visitors! If that isn’t enough, the show runs concurrently with the Hong Kong International Diamond Gem And Pearl Show. Two shows, each dedicated to showing you, just how poor you really are. But you can’t help enjoy every second of this exquisite torture!
The Journey and distractions
Arriving on the 1st of March, our first stop was to grab our first of many suckling pig and rice dinners, together with a little bit of retail therapy. The name of the game was shoe shopping - Malaysia, you really need to up your game in this department!! Seven pairs later and I was kitted out with the obligatory comfy flats for the show the next day - I didn’t feel the converse I had packed were entirely show appropriate, but other show attendees seemed to disagree.
And so, the real spending began the next morning. Desperate for a coffee but excitedly anticipating to hit the road to jewel haven), we boarded the exceptionally cramped shuttle bus for the hellish 40-minute trip over to the airport side of Hong Kong. Destination - the diamond gem and pearl show held at the Asia World Expo Centre.
One thing to note for anyone planning on visiting these shows in the future, take cash! Only 5% of the exhibition booths had facilities to take card payments, which probably saved us from spending way more than our budget actually allowed, but it was nonetheless frustrating as hell!
Take Me too!
Little Leonard was not impressed at his worldly belongings being packed into an Ikea bag while his parents went galivanting to Hong Kong.
After a recent trip to the Tokyo jewellery show, which turned out to be rather disappointing, the Hong Kong Gem show was a welcome sight. Even though the wholesale prices weren’t particularly cheap, especially for someone only buying a few pieces here and there, the selection was tremendous. We didn’t spend a fortune in comparison to the big hitters, but we did manage to blow our own budget as well as drool over pieces way out of our league! Here are a few of our favourites that we bought, but mostly just drooled over….
Day 2 of our gem and jewellery adventure saw us heading to the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show located right next door to our hotel, which meant no traumatic bus experience again! Whilst we weren’t in the market for purchasing jewellery, we did get a little distracted by some beautiful sterling silver pave pendants in colours that just pop! Resistance as you know, can be futile so we ended up purchasing a nice little selection of these pendants.
There are still a few available for sale now at the Academy! So drop in and have a look!
What we really wanted from this show was to take a look at the tools and technology of the trade and we were fortunate to see some amazingly detailed 3-D printers at work. Basically, I wanted to know if I could finally afford a laser welder yet. Unfortunately, the answer is still a very firm no.
3-D printing includes many different technologies. While some printers work with filament, others use powder, and yet others work with liquid resin or wax. 3-D printers in the jewellery industry use resin or wax and are very different from those available for home use. Jewellery quality 3-D printers need to produce incredibly detailed models in castable resin or wax, which will then be turned into precious metal jewellery using lost wax casting. Lost wax casting has been done for thousands of years, and the techniques remain much the same today but rather than hand carving a wax model and creating a metal model from that, models are now regularly created quickly and efficiently with the aid of 3-D printing technology. There is no denying these bad boys are incredible and the quality obtainable at the cheaper end of the scale is surprisingly fine, but as entry level machines start around USD 10,000 as a bare minimum, we won’t be getting one this time, but we do hope you enjoy the photos!
And with that, our 2-day treasure-hunting adventures in Hong Kong ended. It was an unbelievable experience being a part of these visually dazzling shows.
Thank you, Hong Kong - you were just as I remembered, and next time I promise not to leave it so long!
To book for future shows or for further details, check the links below: