Rapaport Magazine

Shanghai Show Expands

China June Market Report

By Julius Zheng

In recent years, the number of jewelry shows in China has expanded from just a few to dozens. Even in Shanghai, there are so many shows that professional diamond wholesalers are finding it difficult to decide which ones to attend. Almost all jewelry shows in China accept exhibitors from both retailers and wholesalers, and visitors from both the trade and consumers. As a result, many of the jewelry shows are more focused on retail, almost like an extension of the retail stores. Diamond retailers also participate in wedding shows — a kind of BtoC show covering the full range of wedding products — to increase their visibility and sales.

Jewelry Shanghai 2012, which ran from May 10 through 13, is the most important trade show in East China, the biggest show in the first half of the year in Mainland China and one of the three largest jewelry shows in China. The other two are the Shenzhen Show in September and the Beijing Show in November.

Open to both the trade and consumers, Jewelry Shanghai 2012 moved to a new venue in the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center. The show featured over 2,000 booths in two halls, a 90 percent increase from 2011. More than 1,000 exhibitors from 22 countries occupied a total area of more than 450,000 square feet. The number of foreign exhibitors reached a record high 35 percent of the total this year. Show organizers estimated attendance at 35,000 visitors from 40 countries.

A total of 36 diamond wholesalers exhibited in the pavilion of the Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE), one of the show organizers, and others exhibited in pavilions representing different regions. There was no Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) pavilion as in past years, but there was a strong new pavilion from the Hong Kong Jewelry Manufacturers’ Association (HKJMA), featuring diamonds, colored stones and jewelry in 120 booths. The regional pavilions included a 150-booth Taiwan pavilion exhibiting jewelry with diamonds, jadeite and other colored gemstones.


For the exhibitors focused on wholesale sales, the general opinion was that the foot traffic was good, but it was hard to tell what percentage was corporate buyers versus consumers. However, even if the on-site show sales were limited, many wholesalers were satisfied that they made contacts for future deals.

For the Chinese buyers who were looking into additional international sourcing, the Shanghai show was just the first stop. A delegation of them flew directly from Shanghai to Las Vegas for the JCK show held June 1 through 4, while others planned to visit the Hong Kong show from June 21 through 24.

Seven companies headquartered in Israel exhibited in the SDE pavilion at the Shanghai show, while the Israel Diamond Institute (IDI) had its own booths. India-based companies have had the largest presence in the SDE for a long time, and now the number of Israel-based companies has increased to 45, including very important companies like Leo Schachter and Dalumi. The Israeli companies are also expanding in Hong Kong, the gateway to diamond business in Asia and especially important for doing business in Mainland China. Approximately 76 companies will participate in the Israel Diamond Pavilion at the June Hong Kong show, while around 30 more will exhibit outside the pavilion at the show. In 2011, approximately 35 percent of the diamonds exported from Israel were sold to Asia.

Jewelry Shanghai 2013 will be held on the same exact dates as in 2012 and organizers expect further expansion.


According to a recent report from Taobao.com, the biggest BtoC and CtoC website in China, the site’s online jewelry sales increased 72 percent year on year in 2011, while the sales of gold, pearl and jade more than doubled. Three hundred gold bars were sold in three minutes in a group buying event on the site in December 2011, and jade sales of more than $120,000 were recorded and diamond sales of more than $140,000.

The most popular item was jadeite, accounting for 35.93 percent of all sales. Diamonds ranked second at 20.04 percent, and gold products, 15.93 percent. The top buying regions were Jiangsu Province, accounting for 10 percent, and Guangdong, Zhejiang and Henan Provinces, each with a 9 percent share of the total, followed by Shangdong Province with 8 percent.


The May 1 Labor Day weekend sales ended satisfactorily, a relief after the relatively quiet period for diamond retail that followed the Chinese New Year. Retail sales after the holiday were stable but there were also comments that solid gold jewelry sold much better than diamond jewelry, which is more profitable.



  • Demand is good for .30-carat to 1.1-carat round D-H, VS1-SI2 diamonds with Gemological Institute of America (GIA) certificates, preferably in triple EX cut.
  • In Shanghai, 1-carat round D, IF-SI1 with GIA certificates are selling well.
  • Asking prices for 1-carat diamonds have increased, but buyers remain cautious.

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - June 2012. To subscribe click here.

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