Monthly newsletter with original content, member's announcements, industry highlights and important colored gemstone news from around the world.
In this Month's Newsletter:
Rocco Gay, ICA's Ambassador to Italy
Italian Colored Gemstone & Jewellery Market Report
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Send in your posters by October 1st!
ITALIAN COLORED GEMSTONE & JEWELLERY
by Rocco Gay
ICA Ambassador to Italy
The main issues that have shaped the global jewellery market in the current form have been affecting the gems and jewellery production in Italy as well. Here comes a brief comment on some of them:
- The growing domination of wealthy financial groups that can afford huge investments into worldwide communication strategies and distribution is more and more evident.
- A process of vertical integration of the different phases of the production that impoverishes the traditional professional figures. For instance gem producers who buy a jewellery brand, chain retailers who buy and cut the rough directly, jewellery manufacturers who open their own shops or sell on-line to the final consumer.
- Gem prices instability due to precarious mining, high variability in demand and fast changes in fashion and trends.
- An opposite perception of the jewel as a temporary fashion accessory or a long-lasting luxury good and asset. This has lead to an important decline of the medium market segment.
- Growing prices for exceptional and certified gems to the detriment of more common ones.
- A discrepancy between the vintage jewellery that offers competitive prices and registers sales growth both during the fairs than at the auctions, and the jewellery manufacturers who have to afford the expenses of the whole productive and sale cycle.
- The changed use of a gem not any more the as the core of the jewel itself but as an integrated part of it. The quality of the cutting and its design and personalization are more and more significant.
The Production Today
In consequence to this uncertain and unstable period, coloured and fancy gemstones are less appealing than diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires.
Even though, every brand designer is looking for new colours, new materials and new shapes in order to differentiate and make unique his collection.
Unfortunately, the search for novelty often means looking for cheap, and easy-to-find materials in order to guarantee bigger productions and larger profits.
Today in Italy most of the cut and polished materials are mother of pearl, type C jades, malachite, onyx, carnelian, pink opal and lapis. Few brands are still using turquoise, coral, blue chalcedony, chrysoprase, some amethyst and some London blue topaz. Other gems like peridot, garnet, tourmaline, beryl and topaz, are only asked for special projects or high end jewellery.
The majority of brands do not use "fancy" coloured gems for their collections.
Unfortunately, at the moment, and for the short term, there is no plans or predictions involving the procurement of coloured gemstones for new consistent productions or manufacturing.
Unexpectedly, important and famous luxury brands are now currently using coloured paste; enamels; dyed materials such as jade, mother of pearl, quarzites or chalcedony; doublets and triplets to get unusual patterns and colours shades.
The Valenza Region
In 2016 the export of jewellery registered a contraction of about -4% with approximately 300 Millions of loss, following the decreasing of the global demand for jewels.
A loss in almost all the countries ( like -15% in the EU, - 6,7 in Switzerland, - 10,6 in France, - 9,1 in HK) apart the US with a + 15% and the UK with a + 30%, has been registered.
Fortunately we can finally, after years, note a growth of +6,7% in the internal market.
Italy has an ancient and well-established goldsmith tradition that is developed in the main manufacturing districts such as Vicenza, Arezzo, Naples, Milano and Rome. Notably among them, only Valenza can meet the needs of the global jewellery brands. In terms of variety of services, quality of manufacture and technical know how and innovation, Valenza jewel tradition originated in 1840 and before the first world war more than 40 companies were already active. The real boom started after the second war, in 1945 with more than 300 companies .
Today, after many difficult years and defections, we can still count about 800 active manufacturers with 4700 operators involved and an export rate that reaches almost two billions.
A huge patrimony of technical and professional know-how that has been lasting for more than 150 years, a very high specialization, an interconnected business tissue, a high managing ability, a quick capacity to understand and follow the new market demands, very competitive prices, are the reason why many brands are still opening offices and invest here.
On top of all is the new BULGARI factory, opened few weeks ago, the biggest facility in Europe, that is planning to employ 700 employee within the current year.
Another example is Cartier that few years ago bought three factories (in Turin, Valenza and Milan) creating the PGI group.
A new trend has been facing the region : some companies that were manufacturing in Thailand or China are coming back to Valenza to benefit of the logistic advantages, the smaller difference in terms of costs and the benefit of a growing demand for " made in Italy" products.
Here are the main brands that manufacture in Valenza today:
LVMH, Richemont and Kering with BULGARI, CHAUMET, FRED, CARTIER, PIAGET, VAN CLEEF, GUCCI, BOUCHERON and POMELLATO
CHOPARD, BUCCELLATI, DE GRISOGONO, CHANEL , BOGHOSSIAN and ANNA HU
Top Italian brands like PASQUALE BRUNI, DAMIANI, GIORGIO VISCONTI, PALMIERO, VEHRNIER, CRIVELLI, RECARLO, CHANTECLER, BUSATTI, ROBERTO COIN and PICCHIOTTI.
Many others are joining this trend in order to take advantage of the extraordinary opportunities offered by the Valenza district.
Even if the official figures seem slightly negative and the export predictions for 2017 are quite optimistic, the current market for coloured gemstones here in Italy is still moving very slowly on the jewellery manufacturing sector and stands almost static on retail basis.
The demand is very low in the shops and the production area is facing a strong downgrading in terms of value, using poorer materials.
The decreasing sales during the last Basel show is a further signal of the global market contraction that sounds worrisome.
The feeling here in Italy is that gemstones can be sold just when there is a specific demand and that no one is willing to buy for inventory. In this particular situation logistic and services like production advice, delivery time, ready on stock goods, cut and recut, or payment terms, become fundamental to keep the position in the market.
GET READY FOR HONG KONG
ICA BRAZILIAN NIGHT
Sponsored once again by our friends at
IBGM & Apex-Brasil
You won't want to miss this year's event,
on the evening of the very first day of the
Hong Kong UBM Gem & Jewellery Fair, AWE.
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Doors open at 6:00pm!
Our ICA Reception will be held
once again, next door to the Asia World Expo
at the SkyCity Marriott.
LIVE BRAZILIAN MUSIC
Click on video below!
What a great way to kick off the show!
Come as you are and enjoy the fun!
Please call to let us know you are coming!
ICA International Poster Competition
First Prize US$2000
Dead-line to submit entries: October 1st
The International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA), one of the world's leading gem and jewelry trade organizations, will hold its biennial Congress, October 21-24, 2017 in Jaipur, India.
A major center for cutting and polishing colored gems, Jaipur is world renowned for its stunning colored gemstone jewelry and fine craftsmanship. The ICA is proud to have the "Pink City" host its Congress for the second time since the association was founded in 1984.
As a longstanding tradition at its Congresses, the ICA sponsors a Poster Competition dedicated to not only promoting gemstones, but also to showcase the art of jewelry design and craftsmanship.
"Heart to Heart"
The theme for the 2017 Poster Competition is "Heart to Heart," which evokes the origins of a jewel from the Designer's Heart to Idea to Design to Workshop to the Buyer's Heart.
The ICA invites graphic designers and other creative individuals worldwide to design a poster that incorporates a piece of jewelry adorned with colored gemstones in keeping with this theme. The type of jewelry is up to the imagination of the entrant.
The coordinator of this poster competition is Mr. Yehuda Kassif, a special advisor to the ICA Board of Directors. All entries will be exhibited during the ICA Congress in Jaipur (October 2017) where ICA members and Congress delegates will vote for their favorite designs.
Entrants are invited to learn more about ICA and view previous poster competitions as well as a variety of posters dedicated to colored gems on ICA's website,
Prizes for the winning designs
First Prize: US$2,000
Second Prize: US$1,500
Third Prize: US$1,000
Fourth Prize: Certificate of Appreciation
The prizes will be sent to the winners after the conclusion of the ICA Congress.
Design Guidelines for Poster Creation
1. The main image of the poster should be a design of a piece of jewelry, several pieces or a full set, incorporating colored gemstones.
2. The colorful designs may be sketched by hand or created digitally with software.
3. Any other images or slogans that express the values of ICA are welcome.
4. The poster should include the name of the association "ICA - International Colored Gemstone Association" in English.
5. If possible, depending on the design, the poster could also reflect phases of the gemstone industry, such as mining, production or trade.
6. In order to express the international nature of ICA, designers may express their own culture by using their language and/or national symbols and icons.
7. Special attention will be given to unique and original jewelry designs.
There is no fee for entering the competition.
How to Submit Poster Design Entries
a. Every entrant may submit up to three designs.
b. The entrants may submit their entry in one of two ways: (1) By email directly to the Coordinator, or (2) by printing it out on A4 size paper (21.0cm x 29.7cm; 8.27in x 11.69in), and sending it via regular mail directly to the Coordinator.
c. For posters submitted by email, the digital file should not exceed 2 MB and should be in one of these formats: AI, EPS or PDF (all in CMYK mode).
d. For posters submitted by postal mail, the color printouts must be accompanied by a digital file of the design saved on a disk or USB drive in the formats and size specified in points (c) and (e).
e. The digital file must be suitable for high-resolution printing (300 dpi, or 120 pixels/cm) because it will be printed on an A3 sheet (29.7cm x 42.0cm; 11.69in x 16.53in) for display at the Congress.
f. The back of each printed poster must have the Full Name and Full Address (including email and telephone number) of the entrant. For emailed designs, the same information must be included in the email.
g. The deadline for receiving posters is 1 October 2017.
Submissions should be sent only to the Coordinator, at the following address:
Postal Mailing Address
19, Ha'Erez Street
OR YEHUDA, 6039619
Important - Please Note
By submitting the poster for the competition, an entrant declares that she/he is the rightful owner of the design(s), image(s) and/or any slogan(s) that are used. ICA will not return the submitted entries to the entrants. ICA is also not obliged to accept all posters that are submitted.
ICA will assume ownership of the winning posters. The winning entrant thereby acknowledges and permits ICA to use the posters in any form and in any manner that the organization chooses.
Should any ICA member or Congress participant want to use any of the jewelry designs that are shown on a poster, ICA will put the entrant and the interested party in contact with each other, but ICA will not be a part of these discussions.
This is the ICA office staff, at your service,
we are just an e-mail away.