Rapaport Magazine


By Marc Goldstein
Diamond Fair Strengthens Ties

The sixth annual Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair (ADTF), which was held February 1 to 3, showcased approximately 100 of Antwerp’s leading diamond companies at the industry’s sole by-invitation-only trade fair. The show spans three trading halls: the Antwerp Diamond Bourse, the Diamond Club of Antwerp and Antwerp’s Rough Diamond Bourse.
   “Judging from feedback from different ADTF visitors and nationalities this year, the close concentration in a very accessible, safe environment of the widest range of goods is a major attraction,” said Marcel Pruwer, president of the Antwerp Diamond Bourse. “The bourse framework of the fair and the quality of the exhibitors make for a pure, professional B2B experience. Clients can quickly zero in on the goods they need and find suppliers for everything from small to large special stones and everything in between.”
   Pruwer added that “buyers from the Middle East, Asia and South America with other business in Europe find it convenient to have a comprehensive B2B diamond fair in Europe. The different networking events scheduled through the fair provide excellent value.”

Buy Now or Later
   The fair serves two purposes for attendees, whether exhibitors or visitors. There are those who say the event is to make contacts for future business and those who expect on-site sales. Of course, it’s a bit of both. Axel Beck of Beck Diamonds explained that the ADTF is on his schedule of recurring annual major events. “When I exhibit there, I think that all things considered, it’s mainly a making-contacts occasion. Based on past fairs, I can confirm that not all contacts end up in sales, but the sales that do result are definitely worth the effort of attending and financing the booth.”
   ADTF organizers say a main goal clearly is bringing new buyers to Antwerp, buyers who “may have ‘met’ Antwerp at the major trade fairs — at the Antwerp Diamond Pavilions, for instance — but have not been in the city,” explained Lucile Lerat of the ADTF staff. Delegations of first-time buyers at the fair in 2014 included traders from the Middle East, China, Eastern Europe and North Africa. Lerat said she heard that Middle Eastern buyers who came this year did buy large fancy color diamonds in 10-carat-plus sizes.

Easy Access
   Stephane Fischler, president of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), said that “in an environment where time is money, ADTF is an efficient fair, easy to access within Europe, where you can get to the very essence of your search in a very short time. ADTF has made a place for itself in the trade and has become a crossroads for both larger and smaller, more specialized companies.”
   Deep Shah of Annita Diamonds said that his company has been “trading smaller stones all over the world and we’re manufacturing the larger stones in Tel Aviv. We’re actually concentrating on the larger stones — larger than 5 carats. To draw attention to our diamonds at the ADTF, we used a custom-made air-pulsed system that kept one of our stones hovering around and rotating within the device. We chose a 50-carat polished diamond for the demonstration, and, modesty aside, our booth was the number-one attraction at the fair. All things considered, we were really pleased with the show. Our intention was to find new customers, which we did. It was our first time and we’re coming back for sure next year.”

Better Every Year
   Berit Hertz of P. Herts Jewellers of Denmark added, “This year, we visited the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair for the third time, and each time, it gets more and more interesting. The fair is an excellent place to get inspired, to meet new suppliers and to create even deeper relationships with existing suppliers. This year, we were fortunate to be accompanied by a journalist and a photographer from one of Denmark’s largest newspapers, Berlingske Tidende, and it was interesting to see their reactions to the environment and the way diamonds are found, evaluated and, finally, traded. We are definitely coming back next year.”
   Raphaël Rubin of Rubin & Zonen concluded, “As an exhibitor, this time I’ve made contacts both in Europe and outside of Europe. The more this fair develops, the more obvious it is that what you get from it will depend on how you prepare yourself. There’s often no immediate reward in participating in such fairs. It’s all about follow-up! This time, we were particularly well organized and we contacted all our existing clients in advance. Now that the fair is getting more recognition, trust is building up and more sales are being closed at the fair.”
   There were plenty of rumors about business being done and deals being closed. One off-the-record report confirmed that a single booth did a good business in 4-carat to 5-carat stones at prices ranging from $70,000 to $150,000.

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - March 2015. To subscribe click here.

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