Hong Kong Gem Show!
Michael Valitutti gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the world-renowned Hong Kong gem show!
A photo of myself at the Hong Kong gem show.
Hong Kong hosts three gem shows per year, one in March, June and September. By far, the most important with the largest number of exhibiters and attendees is the September show (which is the one I normally attend).
This show is very well known internationally, and is considered the show to attend... If you do not go to this show then you really are not a player in the global gem market. The show is all encompassing with four main show halls. The downtown convention center hosts only finished jewelry from every major design house and manufacturer on the planet.... It’s incredibly huge. The airport convention center hosts three halls. One is dedicated to loose gems and diamonds and is the largest of its kind by far on the planet... The scale is immense. A large second hall is dedicated to pearls only and is the size of a football field with a third dedicated only to fashion jewelry.
An image I took of cut gemstones at the Hong Kong gem show.
The September Hong Kong show is where I often make great discoveries before they end up at the February Tucson show. This show has every fine colored gem imaginable and in larger quantities which is critical for TV Home Shopping. This is a show where I often find the newest and latest gem find and it’s geared toward the larger purchaser and is never attended by those who buy smaller quantities. It’s the place where you see it all and have to make big deals with big money which is crucial for obtaining high grade gems in volume at a lower cost. The sheer size attracts gem dealers all across the world so at one show you see all that Brazil, Africa and Madagascar have to offer for example.
Making a deal with a Paraiba Tourmaline dealer from Brazil.
There are two tricks to being successful at a show of this caliber. Experience and money. This is not a place for those that are learning the trade...you have to be knowledgeable about gems and know what to look for and what to avoid.
A successful haul from the Hong Kong gem show!
You have to able to sort through parcels and make relatively fast judgement calls. Then, after all that, you have to be able to make a cash deal on the spot (you wire the money the next day) as this is the only way to get the “good” deal. All this is done with a 12 hour time difference and unreal jet lag!