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Approximately 30 first-time exhibitors are booked for the International Jewellery Fair
Approximately 30 first-time exhibitors are booked for the International Jewellery Fair

Final announcements ahead of Sydney jewellery fair

Preparations are nearly complete for the 2016 Sydney jewellery fair but there has still been time for exhibitors to make last minute announcements.

US jewellery brand Alex and Ani, for example, will use the three-day International Jewellery Fair (IJF), which opens tomorrow Saturday 27 August, to launch its Australian charity initiative.

Karin Adcock, CEO of Alex and Ani local distributor House of Brands, said the scheme would be part of the brand’s international charity programme that has donated more than US$34 million (AU$45 m) to various causes in the last five years.

On top of this, Adcock explained a “shop in shop” concept – believed to have played a significant role in the brand’s success in the US – would be revealed at the fair.

Other supplier news includes Bolton Gems’ announcement it would be bring two synthetic CVD (chemical vapour deposition) diamonds to the fair with the aim of encouraging jewellers to stop by and test whether they could distinguish them from natural stones.

Brett Bolton, Bolton Gems director
Brett Bolton, Bolton Gems director

Bolton Gems director Brett Bolton said he purchased the E VS2, 60pt and F SI1, 70pt diamonds specifically for the IJF, adding they were for education and awareness purposes and would not be sold.

“Jewellers must be aware these stones are in the Australian market right now so come in and have a look,” Bolton said. “They do have some tell-tales signs of being a CVD diamond under a loupe if you know what you are looking for.”

Gary Fitz-Roy, managing director of fair organiser Expertise Events, said this year’s event would once again prove to be an invaluable experience for the jewellery industry.

“The IJF is a place for retailers to rethink their business model and investigate potential opportunities to increase their profit margins and meet their customer demand by adhering to new processes or partnering with different suppliers, designers or jewellery makers,” he explained, adding there were approximately 30 first-time exhibitors booked.

“It’s important to us that the IJF is the place jewellery retailers go to make informed business decisions,” Fitz-Roy said.

Retailers and suppliers will have a chance to network in a less formal setting during the IJF Happy Hour, taking place on the trade show floor on Saturday 27 August at 5:00pm.

Buying groups
Gary Fitz-Roy, Expertise Events managing director
Gary Fitz-Roy, Expertise Events managing director

Socialising is also on the agenda for Australia and New Zealand’s three buying groups, which have arranged gala dinners around this year’s fair.

Nationwide Jewellers – celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2016 – is holding its members’ dinner at the Four Points by Sheraton, Darling Harbour on Sunday 28 August.

Showcase Jewellers will host its gala dinner tonight, Friday 26 August, at Doltone House, Hyde Park, while Leading Edge held its members’ dinner on the Wednesday before the fair.

Over the past few weeks, Jeweller has reported on many initiatives and product releases scheduled for the upcoming fair. Here is an overview of what to expect.

Live demos

The Jewellery Design and Manufacturing Championships introduced at last year’s fair will return for its second instalment.

Jewellers will put their skills to the test as they compete for cash and prizes valued in the thousands of dollars.

The contest is run by the Young Jewellers Group and sees entrants complete a number of manufacturing techniques within a set timeframe before a live audience.

There will also be a chance to see what the next generation of Australian jewellers has to offer.

The Jewellery Design and Manufacturing Championships
The Jewellery Design and Manufacturing Championships

Apprentice jewellers and WorldSkills Australia regional medallists Nicolai Thaarup Proesser and Tyrus Shay will demonstrate their skills live.

In addition, they will be on hand to talk about their journeys into the industry and their experiences as WorldSkills Australia competitors as they undertake a mock competition to craft an intricate piece in 18-carat gold. 

Full details click here

Panel discussion

An industry panel will delve into a current hot issue facing jewellers during a discussion titled Natural vs. Synthetic diamonds – the impact on our industry.

Gemmologist Tony Smallwood, Showcase Jewellers director George Proszkowiec and gemmologist and director of the Gem Studies Laboratory Bill Sechos will bring their knowledge to bear on the topic of synthetic diamonds.

Bookings are required. Register via jewelleryfair.com.au.

Retailers can also hear the latest business strategies from expert speakers for free during a series of sessions designed to boost industry knowledge.

The daily topics of discussion include SEO 101 – An Introduction to Modern Search Engine Optimisation, Creating a Memorable Brand and Social Media for Small Retailers, Google AdWords Basics: How to Build a Strong Campaign for Great Results and How to Win Employees and Influence Your People.

Full details click here

2016 Melbourne Cup
The 2016 Emirates Melbourne Cup
The 2016 Emirates Melbourne Cup

The 2016 Emirates Melbourne Cup is currently touring Australia and New Zealand and will be on show at the IJF.

The trophy, produced by Pallion subsidiary ABC Bullion, comprises 1.65 kg of 18-carat gold mined, refined, and manufactured in Australia and is valued at $175,000. Visitors will have the chance to get up close and personal with the cup and meet its makers as well as officials from the Victoria Racing Club during a ‘Winning Breakfast’ from 8:30am on Saturday 27 August.

Smartwatch supplier Garmin will have Commando Steve, of The Biggest Loser fame, at its stand on Sunday 28 August at midday to launch a new range.

Full details click here

In case you missed it

As previously reported by Jeweller, a number of suppliers have made other announcements ahead of the fair:

Alfex watches receive Australian relaunch
Karen Walker Jewellery embraces mature-age models
Duraflex acquires another ‘personalised’ jewellery brand
Iconic crystal brand launches jewellery collection
Duraflex expands: acquires distribution Police, Roamer watches

The 2016 IJF will be held from Saturday 27 August to Monday 29 August at the Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island.

Opening hours are as follows:
Saturday August 27, 9:30am – 6:00pm
Sunday August 28, 9:30am – 6:00pm
Monday August 29, 9:30am – 3:00pm


Showcase Australia (JIMACO)
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