Jewellery World publisher John Abolins discovers the charm of Vicenza’s mid-year jewellery fair.
Despite the tough economic times currently experienced around the globe the Vicenzaoro-Charm jewellery fair in May still attracted 1301 exhibitors as well as visitors from 963 local companies and 338 international ones to fill 60,000 square metres of exhibition space.
While some consider there are too many international fairs around the world, the Vicenza fair organizers believe Vicenzaoro (which is held in January, May and September each year) is among the top four alongside Basel, Hong Kong and Las Vegas.
Vicenzaoro has been catering to the luxury market since the fair was founded in 1948 and it’s a position it wants to maintain because this sets the fair apart from other international shows.
While still catering for the luxury market some adjustments were made to the May collections to entice visitors to purchase the jewellery on display.
Other than the very expensive top end of the luxury market, many pieces on display were lighter.
For example diamonds of over one carat were replaced by seven smaller ones while splendid hydrothermal quartzes, often oversized, were often chosen over more costly natural stones and micro pavés of finely sifted diamonds and sapphires were seen more often than their larger counterparts.
Overall it seemed that exhibitors were trying to convey the message that their jewellery is an affordable luxury.
Other trends included the move back to yellow gold although white gold was still popular with solitaire diamonds.
There was a time when Australians ordering 9 carat from Italy had to place their orders by May so it could be produced before Italians closed their factories for the summer holidays.
But today you can find companies that will let you order 9 carat in late August and will deliver well before the Christmas selling season.
And while gold dominated Italian offerings there was also plenty of quality silver on show as well as several watch brands including Sector, part of the Morelatto group of companies.
Vicenzaoro-Charm ended on a high note with the Fair opening its doors to the public for the first time to raise money for earthquake victims in the Abruzzo region of Italy.
The next showing in Vicenza is Vicenzaoro-Choice, September 12-16.
For more information visit www.vicenzaoro.org