Busy Fall Ahead for Diamond and Jewelry Industry

With the start of September coming up and summer more or less over in the northern hemisphere and diamantaires back at work, there is certainly no shortage of events coming up in the next month or so.

From the September Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair to the Bharat Diamond Week, the World Diamond Council meeting and the World Diamond Congress all taking place in India, and the Bharat Diamond Week in New York, together with the CIBJO annual congress in Colombia in the middle of October, there are going to be plenty of opportunities to test the waters of the diamond, gemstone and jewelry industry.

On the commercial side, the Hong Kong fair – taking place from September 9 to 18 and long known for its importance as a show where deals are sealed rather than simply an event for window shopping and contact making – is a bellwether for the industry. How strong is demand overall and which items are being bought in particular are the top questions. What is the sentiment in the market generally and specifically in Hong Kong and the wider Mainland China?

Meanwhile, the organizers of the Second Bharat Diamond Week at the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) from October 8-10 will be aiming to build on the success of the first event held last April. Around 1,000 visitors took part in the first edition of the event where 100 diamond manufacturers displayed a wide range of goods. BDB President Anoop Mehta and Vice-President Mehul Shah, who is responsible for the project, have repeatedly stressed the need to support small and medium-sized companies who comprise the vast majority of their bourse's membership, as they do at every other diamond exchange.

Next up will be the annual congress of CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation. As an attendee of the last half dozen congresses, I can bear witness to the depth of commitment of the organization's members who cross the world every year to take an active and vocal part in the gatherings. What is perhaps less well known is the intensive work that goes on throughout the year between congresses as commission members covering every element of the diamond, gemstone and jewelry industries bat ideas back and forth before meeting for two days before the congress to reach a consensus on the leading issues affecting their specific commissions. Their dedication to improving the way the industry works, its image and its environmental impact is all the more inspiring since they are giving up their free time in the service of CIBJO in particular, and the trade in general.

The exact same must be said, of course, regarding industry members taking part in the World Diamond Council meeting on October 22, a day before the 38th World Diamond Congress from October 23 to 25. The meetings of the presidents and delegations of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association will certainly have plenty on their plates.

Recent developments such as De Beers' decision to enter the lab-grown diamond set jewelry market and the US Federal Trade Commission's sway in the direction of the factory-made diamond manufacturers will clearly be high on the agenda. What these developments mean for the diamond market will be hammered out as representatives from across the globe debate them.

As with other international gatherings, the representatives will be leaving their homes, families and businesses – in some cases for close to a week – to take part in the discussions because they believe in the trade and are determined to improve its image and show the good that diamonds do. Anyone who has attended the sessions knows that these are not short breaks away from the business – that all has to be dealt with by remote control while taking part in debates that affect the livelihoods of untold numbers across the globe.

And finally, a good word must be directed toward the Indian diamond industry which is hosting the World Diamond Congress.

I hope you enjoyed the summer months because this fall is going to be busy.