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The World's Famous Diamonds exhibition will be on show at this year's jewellery fair
The World's Famous Diamonds exhibition will be on show at this year's jewellery fair

World famous diamonds at Sydney jewellery fair

Trade fair organiser, Expertise Events, has announced that the World’s Famous Diamonds exhibition will be showcased at the International Jewellery Fair in Sydney.
Scott Sucher, World
Scott Sucher, World's Famous Diamonds exhibition founder

The collection is the brainchild of Scott Sucher, a retired United States Air Force pilot who has been fascinated with diamonds since he was 14, and features perfect replicas of 36 of the world’s most famous diamonds.

While most celebrated stones have been lost to history – they were either re-cut as is the case with the most famous diamond of all, the Koh-I-Noor, or their whereabouts is unknown – there was enough detailed technical and scientific data produced at the time to be able to create a replica collection.

Sucher pointed out that his replicas, which will be hosted in Sydney over the three days of the fair, are not mere representations or imitations.

“This distinction is very important,” he said. “While a representation is a ‘stand-in’ for its authentic counterpart, it is not necessarily accurate. A replica recreates the size, shape and colour of the original precisely – something that is especially relevant to diamonds such as these because so few people are familiar with the originals.”

Sucher first presented the World’s Famous Diamonds collection in 2008, where he “toured” 28 stones, but the collection has now expanded to 36. 

Accompanying the original collection – which included the Tiffany, Hope, Koh-I-Noor, Cullinan and the Star of South Africa diamonds – will be the Mirror of Portugal and the famous 31-carat Wittelsbach diamond which was purchased by Laurence Graff for £16.4 million (AU$29.9 m) in 2008.

Sucher will also present a series of “floor talks” at the jewellery fair where he will explain some of his extensive research that brought to light many false historical observations of some stones.

The Koh-I-Noor, perhaps the most famous diamond in the collection, has been replicated from a plaster model made in 1851 before the original gemstone was cut into its current form.

“The painstaking endeavour actually has an Australian link which is a wonderful story in its own right,” Sucher explained.

Commenting on the decision to invite the collection’s founder to the fair, Expertise Events managing director Gary Fitz-Roy said, “Scott [Sucher] was very popular on his first visit to Australia six years ago, so we decided to secure him again this year.

“In fact, we have a long list of new additions to the jewellery fair’s education and expert presentation program which should be a major drawcard for visitors,” he added.

Other attractions
One of these drawcards includes a presentation by Pandora Australia president David Allen on Monday 1 September.

“He’s [Allen] led Pandora through a tremendous period of change and growth and wants to share his knowledge on the future of the jewellery industry. He will also be exploring whether jewellers have the right attitude to prosper in a changing retail environment,” Fitz-Roy explained.

Given that the JAA Australasian Jewellery Awards are announced on the Sunday night, another new initiative this year is “Meet the designers” where award finalists will be on the fair floor to share the inspiration and motives behind their design entries.

Fitz-Roy said at least two more major drawcards would be announced next week. “The 2014 fair will have a wide variety of high-profile visitor events which we are announcing leading up to the fair. Not only are they exciting, they will be ‘first time’ attractions in Sydney.”

All systems go for new venue
The jewellery fair will be the second show arranged by Expertise Events at the Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island – the alternative location used while the Darling Harbour redevelopment project takes place.

According to Fitz-Roy the new venue received “overwhelmingly positive feedback” for the recent craft and quilt trade fair with exhibitors and visitors saying that it was well organised and “easier to get to” than the Darling Harbour venue.

He also noted that the craft fair showed some encouraging signs in the marketplace, which would bode well for the upcoming jewellery show.

“Our economy is strong – the spending at the recent craft fair, which is a good consumer barometer, was the best in a number of years,” he stated.

As previously reported in Jeweller, the venue has also received praise from a range of jewellery exhibitors and buying group executives who were given a preview and an update on the fair last month as a way to instil confidence among booked and potential exhibitors.

At the time, Fitz-Roy said, “It was an opportunity for them to see its great advantages and to help them feel more secure. We’ve been at Darling Harbour for 22 years and so changing to a new venue is a big thing.”

Among those attending the preview was Australian Jewellers Suppliers director Selwyn Brandt who said he was surprised by the venue’s size and sturdy construction.

Fitz-Roy added that a number of suppliers who were previously apprehensive about the new venue had confirmed exhibition bookings following the tour.

The 23rd JAA International Jewellery Fair will be held from Sunday 31 August until Tuesday 2 September.

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