By DAVID BROUGH
“Vicenzaoro organizers and exhibitors expressed optimism for the market in 2023 following steady trading and buoyant sentiment at the Italian jewelry fair.
The show attracted a record number of exhibitors and visitors, Italian Exhibition Group (IEG) reported Tuesday. Attendance grew 11.5% compared with the pre-pandemic January 2020 edition, reaching a total of 1,300 exhibitors from 36 countries.
Vicenzaoro, which ran from January 20 to 24, has a history stretching back almost seven decades. It is the largest jewelry, watches and accessories trade show in Europe, according to IEG, and takes place in the industrial fair grounds of Vicenza in northeast Italy, near Venice.
The five-day show offered manufactured precious jewelry — both “Made in Italy” and from other countries — as well as loose white and colored diamonds, colored gemstones, watches, vintage jewelry, technology and accessories.
Hong Kong-based Caram Gems reported strong enquiries at its stand in the “Essence” gemstones hall. The company had just come off a successful holiday season, notably for the rarest and most beautiful stones, such as large, exquisite no-oil or low-oil Colombian emerald pairs, said Rahul Jain, its director.
“Christmas was quite good,” Jain told Rapaport News. “Sales were strong for the higher-end colored stones such as emeralds. We were expecting a bit of a slowdown due to the negative news internationally, but it turned out that the higher-end consumer was resilient.”
The market for fancy-colored diamonds is extremely robust, added Rahul Jauhari, sales and marketing manager of Hong Kong-based Kunming Diamonds, a supplier of those rare stones. He also reported a positive holiday season.
“We know that the overall category of diamonds is not doing so well, but demand for fancy colors is strong,” Jauhari said. “Right now, sourcing is a bit of a challenge, and fancy-color diamonds are selling for a premium.”
Vicenzaoro has driven a proactive strategy of connecting with the global trade and maintained a highly visible presence even during the lockdowns. Aside from the record attendance, the event featured a solid turnout from other industry members, such as bloggers and influencers.
Italian attendance from all regions was very positive, with Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Lazio and Sicily showing an increase of over 20% compared to pre-pandemic times. T.Gold, an international showcase for machinery, innovation and new technologies, saw a 10% increase in exhibition space, organizers said.
“It is amazing that, after two to three years of pandemic, we return here with such a beautiful, big show,” commented show director Marco Carniello.
A special appeal of the January edition of Vicenzaoro has always been its strength as a showcase for trends for the coming seasons.
Celebrated style forecaster Paola De Luca, director of IEG’s think tank, Trendvision, led a seminar called Dreamscapes. It highlighted how visionaries were using new technologies, combined with the power of their imaginations, to test the boundaries of design.
Vicenzaoro is an opportunity for brands from around the world to show off their latest collections. In the luxury-jewelry hall, Italian brand FOPE displayed its Panorama YOU collection, which allows the wearer to personalize a bracelet or ring.
Other highlights included a serpent necklace featuring gold beads, cut by diamonds, from D’orica; a natural malachite necklace set in 18-karat gold and featuring white diamonds from the new Zinara collection by La Marquise Jewellery; and a Valentine’s Day silver jewelry collection from Desmos.”