Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

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

By Frances Cha, CNN
March 7, 2014 -- Updated 0237 GMT (1037 HKT)
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
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 0556 GMT (1356 HKT)
From Maastricht to Melbourne, these itineraries make bookish travelers look stylish.
July 29, 2014 -- Updated 0858 GMT (1658 HKT)
Good cocktails combine with spectacular views across rivers, cityscapes and oceans at these bird-level drinkeries.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1809 GMT (0209 HKT)
A California homeowner's nightmare has become a cautionary tale for those who rent their homes to strangers.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 0226 GMT (1026 HKT)
Cinema loves portraying the lives of expats. Sometimes it gets it right. Sometimes it casts Nick Nolte as a jungle king.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 0117 GMT (0917 HKT)
Don't be intimidated, says a local expert. Here's how to do China without the hassles
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1233 GMT (2033 HKT)
When your city has an unenviable reputation for insulting tourists and fleecing them for every cent, inviting hotel guests to pay what they want could be a risky move.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 0710 GMT (1510 HKT)
1937 Auto Union V16 Streamliner, Audi Museum, Germany
With factory tours and collections of stunning vintage prototypes, southern Germany is petrolhead paradise.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1344 GMT (2144 HKT)
Every tourist destination has a flip side, a season when prices go down and savvy, flexible travelers can score big savings.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 0711 GMT (1511 HKT)
A Marrakech lamp bazaar
Morocco's Red City is crammed with stunning gardens, shaded souks and steamy bath houses.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1652 GMT (0052 HKT)
Santo Stefano Island, Italy
Pristine beaches, unspoiled nature and few tourists -- a stretch on these former penal colonies is no longer a punishment.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 0923 GMT (1723 HKT)
Life in Joburg can be stressful. Luckily there are some exceedingly non-stressful places close by.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 0907 GMT (1707 HKT)
Istanbul skyline
CNN's Ivan Watson pays homage to the city he's called home for the past 12 years.
China notches up another superlative achievement as a Nanjing-based artist creates the world's largest and longest anamorphic painting.
July 20, 2014 -- Updated 2002 GMT (0402 HKT)
In what is undoubtedly the world's "coolest" surf video, photographer Chris Burkhard endures freezing temperatures, blizzards and injury to capture Arctic waves and their riders.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 0339 GMT (1139 HKT)
Few airline routes are as cutthroat as the one that travels between London and New York. It is the world's busiest route and there are few lengths airlines won't go to in the hopes of getting a piece of the action.
ADVERTISEMENT