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 8:00 AM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
A foreign language can be the best aphrodisiac, so we traveled the world in search of the hottest accents.
updated 3:35 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Hidden from the rest of the world for decades, Myanmar's Lethwei boxing is experiencing a revival globally.
updated 7:17 AM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
This aging cargo work whale makes more than 60 flights each week, carrying parts for all of the Airbus programs.
updated 7:32 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
Vikings, vicious politics and vindaloo curries -- Scotland isn't all tartan and bagpipes.
updated 8:26 PM EDT, Sun September 14, 2014
Former brothels, public toilets and war bunkers now provide eccentric watering holes for those willing to drink deep.
updated 11:04 PM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
Ushaka Marine World, Durban, South Africa
Joburg is trendy, Cape Town is glamorous, but Durban has style -- and a restaurant inside a shark tank.
updated 3:56 AM EDT, Fri September 12, 2014
Tirana's nightlife
Former Tirana stronghold of a totalitarian leader now home to a pulsing clubs and bar scene.
updated 11:38 PM EDT, Thu September 11, 2014
Whether filled with electric blue sulfur flames or hissing lava, these mega mountains offer incredible vistas.
updated 8:40 PM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
This once-a-year luxury cruise visits untouched islands and never-snorkeled reefs.
updated 9:05 AM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
Peter J. Goutiere was just shy of 30 years old when he piloted a Douglas C-47 from Miami to Kolkata, India.
updated 6:47 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Breathtaking scenery, championship design -- many of the courses dropped into the Canadian Rockies are among the most memorable in the world.
updated 9:06 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
A floating hippo in the Thames river designed by artist Florentijn Hofman
Why Florentijn Hofman is sending a giant beast into London's River Thames.
updated 12:07 PM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
Scrap all those other bucket lists you've been compiling and start saving -- these memorable-for-a-lifetime trips don't come cheap, or easy.
updated 8:42 PM EDT, Fri September 5, 2014
A squabble over a device that limits how far a seat can recline has brought inflight etiquette into the spotlight again.
updated 6:23 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
Thirst for victory competes with thirst for booze in event where competitors raise their glasses long before they cross the finish line.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT