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Strong Demand in HK for Top Quality Gems

Mar 4, 2014 9:17 AM   By Nancy Sindt
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RAPAPORT... Despite worldwide market instability, Hong Kong’s export growth has continued its double-digit increases. According to government figures for 2013, exports of loose pearls and gemstones totaled  $16.6 billion, an increase of nearly 12 percent over the previous year. This pattern held special significance for the organizers of the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show underway at the AsiaWorld-Expo center.

After opening to  high traffic volume on March 3, where buyers with specific needs headed for major suppliers on the show floor, activity on the second day slowed somewhat, as shoppers took a closer look at the offerings – and prices – of diamond and gem suppliers.

Nevertheless, colored gemstone exhibitors maintained that steadily escalating prices on some gems have put a damper on global sales. China is a different matter however.  For example, Michael Hakimi, of A. Hakimi & Sons  New York, noted that prices of fine rubies have risen an average of 15 percent per year, but that hasn’t deterred Chinese buyers who want “the certified pigeon’s blood color (unheated or heated) regardless.”

For OMI of Los Angeles, the most in-demand gems at the show are untreated sapphire and tanzanite. “The Chinese market is an important one for fine-quality colored gemstones,'' said Omi Nagpal, the company's president.

Sailesh Lakhi of Sparkles & Colors in New York, concurred. “Good-quality material always sells,” he said.

Tags: diamonds, gemstones, hong kong jewelry show, Nancy Sindt , pearls, rubies
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