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One of the diamond rings on display at the Hong Kong fair. A US$450,000 diamond was stolen.
One of the diamond rings on display at the Hong Kong fair. A US$450,000 diamond was stolen.

Hong Kong fair marred by $1 million theft

Thieves made off with $1.1 million of gems on the first day of the Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem fair.
Police apprehended two male suspects who allegedly stole a 7-carat diamond worth US$450,000 ($479,000) and replaced it with a fake stone. They also stole an emerald necklace worth more than US$500,000 ($532,000) from another booth.

In two other incidents, different thieves stole pearls worth a total of US$25,000 ($27,000).

The Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem fair launched on September 14 at the AsiaWorld-Expo and will end on September 18. The fair is designed for exhibitors of diamonds, pearls, coloured gemstones and equipment while its partner fair from September 16 to September 20 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre is for fine finished jewellery.

in 2009 the fair was one of the world’s biggest jewellery fairs in terms of total exhibitors. It broke its own record this year with a total of 3,205 exhibitors, up 5 per cent against last year.

International visitors increased this year, and those from Africa rocketed 56 per cent, according to Diamondworld.net. The most notable number of buyers were from India, Thailand, Taiwan and Singapore, it said.

A range of extravagant parades took place at the fair, including the Hong Kong Premier Pavilion Jewellery Parade, Lorenzo Jewellery Limited Jewellery Parade and ENLIGHTENED – Swarovski Elements, where models paraded down catwalks adorned with jewellery.

The fair had the largest diamond pavilion in the world with more than 400 diamond companies exhibiting. Diamond jewellery performed well at the fair and there was good demand for SI diamonds in all colours and above three carats, according to news service Rapaport.

Indian diamond manufacturer Shree Ramkrishna Export launched its Design Canvas tool on the second day of the Hong Kong fair – a virtual program that will allow jewellery retailers to sketch diamond jewellery designs and show customers how the custom piece will look when completed.

The company dubbed the program “the first of its kind” and said it would bring innovation and technology to the traditional diamond industry. Besides allowing customers to see a preview of a diamond design, the program will also allow them to customise every minute detail to suit their individual taste and will allow customers to gauge an approximate price of the design.

The exhibition is split into pavilions for different regions. This year, gemstone trading hub Thailand had the largest overseas pavilions with 349 companies present.

The fair claims that this year it was home to the largest exhibited range of Hong Kong jewellery, with 1,387 Hong Kong companies participating.

Despite the improvement in total exhibitors and international visitors, traffic levels fell well below expectations according to Rapaport. The site claimed that a lot of the Chinese buyers in particular were focused on sourcing specific products instead of buying in large proportions.

More information:
Police foiled Indian jewellery show robbery
Thieves caught red-handed at jewellery fair

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