Did you know that one of Singapore’s largest jewelry trade fair usually take place in the month of October at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Center? Organized by UBM Asia, a total of more than US$1 billion worth of precious gemstones and jewelry went on display this year.
In this 4 day event, more than 280 participants from 28 countries around the world took part in the fair, making the Singapore Jewellery And Gem Fair the biggest jewelry event to be held here locally.
In today’s blog post, I’ll share some of my personal experiences at the event. And for people who are shopping for engagement rings, I will also reveal insights to shopping for diamonds and whether you should make a purchase there…
First off, registration for the event was efficient while never compromising on security. Unlike the work culture found in the western world, Singaporeans get things done fast with precise accuracy. That’s what I love about our country. In fact, the same process would probably take 10 times the amount of time if the trade show was held in Europe.
The choice of venue at Singapore’s leading business convention center befits the prestige of the event. I must say this; everything from the booth designs to decor looks really posh and classy. Compared to the disappointing JewelFest I had visited a day ago, the SJAGF is really a class above.
The moment you step into the hall, you are instantly greeted with a prestigious ambiance. The lighting and dreamy decor instantly puts you in the right mood for the event and I could smell diamonds in the air, literally.
My time of arrival at the fair coincided with the start of the fashion show where selected jewelers and their pieces were paraded down the aisle. Champagne was served with light refreshments in the VIP area and mind you, the people there are the elites and mega-rich who won’t even batter an eyelid in a 1 million dollar transaction.
So, the show goes on to highlight selected pieces of jewelry from international designers around the world. Here are a couple of shots I made with my iPad. Sorry guys, my camera was damaged in my honeymoon and sent for repairs. I have to make do with lower resolution photographs for a couple of months now.
While the fair is open to the public, I personally don’t recommend shopping there for the general public. To put things bluntly, the Singapore Jewellery & Gem Fair is targeted at high net worth individuals and regional jewelry trade businesses. The majority of the diamond jewelry displayed are possibly in the 5 to 6 figure ranges.
For general shoppers who intend to look for a deal of a lifetime there, I hate to burse your bubble because you most likely won’t find one. While there do exist lower end goods, they are what they are, lower quality goods. However, if you do intend to buy something there, my advice is that you shouldn’t let anybody bully or pressure you into a transaction.
I’ve seen it happened with my own eyes at different booths on 2 separate occasions where the sales people are pushing customers to make a purchase by telling all sorts of lies and using “fantastic marketing” about their wares. On this note, make sure you do sufficient research beforehand instead of relying on whatever the salespeople throw at you.
I also suggest bringing cash if you have the intention to buy something. Paying with cash will help with negotiations and get you better prices instead of paying with credit cards or installment plans.
Contrary to what you may think, gem fairs and trade shows are the worst places to shop for engagement rings. Not only are prices excessively high and selections limited, you are effectively overpaying for mediocre quality.
First of all, the fair is one the largest ever held in Singapore. It is insanely huge and you can expect to spend a good 3 hours of your time browsing through the different booths. From diamonds, pearls, fine jewelry, semi precious and precious gemstones, the Singapore Jewellery And Gem Fair offers a diverse variety of goods.
In fact, my eyes needed to be constantly moisturized from all the dazzling and glistening jewelry. Big carat sized diamonds in the range of 5 – 30 carats were a common sight in the booths. Counting the numerous zeros behind the astronomical price tags would be something you would need to get used to.
Parcels like these are also common place as businesses try to forge new relationships with trade personals.
Like I said, this fair is geared towards trade personals and people with huge cash disposals. However, there are a couple of interesting exhibits that caught my eye.
Parts of rough stones that were cut away during the polishing process.
Every single piece is unique as inclusions mark them in the form of art.
Pieces of blue ground from Africa’s Premier diamond mine.
Hopefully, this gives you some insights to the trade fair from a consumer’s point of view. If you are interested in attending next year’s fair, be sure to check out their website for venue and schedule details.