Las Vegas shows garner mixed sentiments

The show floors were packed with a lot of excitement around technology and machinery. Diamonds didn’t perform very well, however, the U.S. market seems to have embraced lab-grown diamonds
Las Vegas shows garner mixed sentiments

One of the most sought after jewellery events, the Las Vegas shows witnessed a flurry of changes in terms of venues this year. JCK and LUXURY moved back to its old haunt Sands Expo from Mandala Bay. Antique and AGTA moved to Las Vegas Convention Hall along with a new show Premier, whereas COUTURE was at the same venue Wynn. With AGTA moving out to its competitor Emerald Exposition (organizers of Couture, Antique Show and PREMIER) JCK launched the Global Gemstone Neighbourhood, which featured around 175 gem dealers.

 Couture good for local brands
COUTURE had a decent response for local jewellers, as it is a show for designer boutiques and independent, mom & pop stores who were scouting for designer jewellery and latest designs. However, for companies exhibiting outside U.S., the show posed a major issue of sending goods to a jeweller on a memo and returns. The show had top brands like Roberto Coin, Roberto Bravo, Stephen Webster, Miki Moto, Dior, Hearts on Fire, Hermès, Pasquale Bruni and Pippo Perez to name a few among hundred others.

 Luxury garnered positive sentiments
LUXURY, a relatively new show began a day early this time on 30th May. The show received a decent response and the vibe was positive, possibly because of steady markets and a strong government. JCK, which began on the 31st had visitors making a long beeline at registration. The show floor was also packed and busy, with retailers especially seen excited about all the new machinery and technology that was on display. However, the relocation caused confusion as buyers were seen searching for their regular vendors on the floor.

Diamonds witnessed a low point
Diamond Plaza witnessed very less movement. When it came to diamonds, there was barely any dealer trading. The regular traders from Antwerp, Israel and India were absent. 1 to 3 ct diamonds in lower colours had good demand. Diamond dealers expressed their concerns about the rising popularity of lab-grown diamonds. However, a handful of them were unperturbed stating that lab-grown pricing will fall as low as CZs and both will have their market share.

Global Gemstones failed to deliver
Global Gemstones exhibitors have complained and protested against such a low footfall merely due to bad location and marketing. It was a common opinion that many traders have stopped buying and that a majority of buyers nowadays come with very specific requirements – they don’t want to stock on anything extra even if there is a good deal on the table. Morganities and aquamarines were selling like hot cakes at the show – clearly, they are the stones to watch out for according to jewellers.

Lab-grown diamonds’ meteoric rise
From a single booth four years ago to an entire pavilion of 65 exhibitors showcasing lab-grown diamonds in large booths, goes to show that the U.S. market has really embraced the lab-grown counterpart.

For the first time, JCK had a pavilion exclusively for lab-grown diamond dealers along side loose natural diamonds. The margins for lab-grown diamonds are better and the growth is in double digit. Amish Shah of ALTR, said that the market has really grown and that ALTR lab grown goods are available in 400 stores in the U.S. ALTR will also expand to the Caribbean, Europe and Asia soon.

 The hub for latest in machinery & tech
The U.S. is the epicenter of technology and innovation. They had companies displaying the best RFID machines to top retail solution software and 3D printing machines and CVD testing equipment of different caliber. Companies from across the world had displayed their products; a few prominent ones were De Beers, OGI, GIA, Stuller, VDB, Sarine, DRC Techno and Gemex.

Location plays spoil sport for India Pavilion
India pavilion, which used to have more than 100 exhibitors a few years ago, has been reduced to a mere 30. The possible reason could be bad location of the pavilion compared to other countries. Business doesn’t happen through random walk-ins at JCK. So, companies have slowly started applying from their U.S. or Hong Kong offices in order to be better located.

Next year’s show will take place from Tuesday, June 2nd to Friday June 5th which excludes a weekend due to the Jewish Shavuot holiday.

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