Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Bargains galore: Spectacular designs shine at Asia's largest gem show

By Frances Cha, CNN
updated 9:37 PM EST, Thu March 6, 2014
Asia's biggest combined jewelry show opened in Hong Kong this week. The dual shows feature thousands of exhibitors from 52 countries. Dai Sun Jewellery's "The Inheritance" (pictured) is made from 18K rose gold diamond bangle with ruby, sapphire, garnet and opal. It won JMA International Jewelry Design Competition's Best Craftsmanship Award last year. Asia's biggest combined jewelry show opened in Hong Kong this week. The dual shows feature thousands of exhibitors from 52 countries. Dai Sun Jewellery's "The Inheritance" (pictured) is made from 18K rose gold diamond bangle with ruby, sapphire, garnet and opal. It won JMA International Jewelry Design Competition's Best Craftsmanship Award last year.
HIDE CAPTION
"The Inheritance"
"The Snake"
"Joyful Tear"
"Motion"
"Phantasma"
"We'll Dance"
"Dragonflies' Symphony"
Jade peacock
Welcome to the shows
Come in, please
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Two massive international jewelry shows opened in Hong Kong this week
  • Exports of fine jewelry from Hong Kong totaled $7.2 billion last year
  • Design competition winners are featured in the gallery above

(CNN) -- Gem-studded pandas climbing emerald bamboo trees.

Opal dragons breathing ruby fire.

A wrap knitted with strings of yellow diamonds.

These are a few of the thousands of over-the-top jewelry collections being shown at Asia's largest combined jewelry show this week.

For the first time, two major jewelry shows are being held at the same time in Hong Kong.

The 31st Hong Kong International Jewellery Show opened at the Hong Kong International Convention & Exhibition Centre on Wednesday.

The Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show opened at AsiaWorld-Expo on Monday.

Combined, the shows bring more than 3,800 exhibitors and stores from 52 countries to show their most beautiful finished pieces.

Shopping destination

It's only logical that Asia's most lavish jewelry shows take place in Hong Kong, a city peppered with jewelry manufacturers and stores -- many targeting free-spending Chinese tourists.

According to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, exports of fine jewelry from Hong Kong totaled $7.2 billion in 2013, a 6.5% increase from 2012.

MORE: 12 of the world's best shopping cities

At the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show in Wan Chai, the visuals are staggering, with a blinding glare from diamonds everywhere you look, set in every form imaginable.

Trade customers carry giant suitcases, buying diamond necklaces by the bucket, while retail customers casually stroll from booth to booth.

While the show is well known among industry people, it's not widely known to the general public, possibly due to a misconception that it's strictly a trade show.

However, members of the public can enter with an admission fee of HK$100 ($13).

Inside the halls they find one of the more shocking sights in Asia.

Hefty bargains are available to "civilian" shoppers.

Retail prices at the show are approximately 10% higher than wholesale prices, but that still means savings of as much as 70% over outside retail prices.

"I travel to Hong Kong to shop here once a year," said a female Korean shopper who asked not to be identified.

"I can't shop for jewelry anywhere else now -- the variety, the unique designs, the prices -- they've all spoiled me for life."

It's best to check whether a shop will sell retail before haggling over prices.

Most will, but some sell only wholesale.

"Around US$1 million so far," said one salesmen when asked about how much he'd sold since the show began.

Focus on design

While almost any form of design imaginable is available, it's the uniquely Asian designs that stand out.

A swarm of delicate butterflies, all an unusual shade of green, adorn the Wing Tai Ornaments and Jewellery Co. counter.

"We exclusively use an unfinished Burmese jade that's named after the Chinese word for the patterns on deer," said Mandy Ho, a representative for the company.

The show also hosts a design competition; winners are featured in the gallery above.

Hong Kong International Jewellery Show, Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Dr., Wan Chai, Hong Kong; +852 2582 8888; March 5-9, 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show, AsiaWorld-Expo, Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong; +852 2582 8888; March 4-6, 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m., March 7, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 2:26 AM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
the Teufelsberg or
Spooks have left their mark on a once-divided city still thought to be an espionage hotbed.
updated 6:06 PM EDT, Sun August 24, 2014
nanjing, handicrafts
With more than 6,000 years of history, Nanjing is one of the few cities in China still practicing the country's endangered traditional crafts.
updated 12:10 PM EDT, Fri August 22, 2014
Rock and weather collide over millennia to create natural bridges. Here are 15 of our favorites from around the world.
updated 1:39 AM EDT, Fri August 22, 2014
A one-nun brewing operation, Sister Doris is putting Germany's women beer makers on the map. Sort of.
updated 2:07 AM EDT, Fri August 22, 2014
From Myanmar to Mickey Mouse, Stefan Zwanzger, aka The Theme Park Guy, gives his rundown of the best.
updated 11:10 AM EDT, Fri August 22, 2014
Four hundred years after the death of Countess Elizabeth Bathory, her murderous exploits prove a grisly attraction.
updated 8:50 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
Formed by volcanoes and steeped in a rich history of Polynesian culture, Hawaii sounds more like a place in a fantasy novel rather than an American travel oasis.
updated 7:56 PM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
Despite Kyoto's allure, until this year there's been a glaring absence from the city's travel scene -- a top tier, super-luxury hotel brand.
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
Why global adventurer Alastair Humphreys now looks for 'microadventures' close to home.
updated 7:33 AM EDT, Wed August 13, 2014
Don't order Corona and don't freak out when you see Jessica Alba without makeup and you might pass for local.
updated 7:01 PM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
History buff? Hardcore surfer? These South Pacific islands have every traveler covered.
updated 11:14 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
Airlines and airports are going high-tech to reduce your time in line.
updated 4:58 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
Summer isn't over yet. These new hotels are keeping it alive and fresh.
updated 2:32 PM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
Eight of the top 10 scoring cities in the Economic Intelligence Unit's annual Liveability Survey are in Australia and Canada.
updated 6:21 PM EDT, Mon August 18, 2014
When a man tells me to "trust him," my typical reaction is to run.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT