Know What Makes The Gems And Jewellery At Facets 2019 Special
Facets, Sri Lanka ( International Gem & Jewellery Trade Show ) is a flagship event that is held annually around September, organised by the Sri Lanka Gem & Jewellery Association ( SLGJA ). The event first started in 1991, this being its 29th edition. Its a much-awaited annual exhibition to showcase and promote the gemstones and jewellery industry.
The event proudly showcases Sri Lanka’s resources and attracts gems and jewellery producers, wholesalers, and exhibitors from both, local and international markets. The primary objective of the show is to encourage the overall development of the industry, focusing on the most treasured resource, the Ceylon Sapphires. The influential buyers attending this event from across the globe are a testament to the stature of the event.
I was fortunate to be invited as a Jewellery Influencer for Facets that was held at BMICH – Exhibition and Convention Centre from 29th August to 1st September 2019 and was hosted at the Hilton, Colombo ( in Sri Lanka ) during the show. They also gave me an opportunity to document the complete #MinesToMarket experience of gemstones which will be released shortly.
The event started with a heart-felt speech from the honorable guest, Mr. Lewis Allen who spoke about the loss of his wife in the 2019 Easter attack bombings in Colombo. My heart went out for him as he smiled through the tears and how he was able to talk about this tragic incident from his life.
In an interactive conversation with the visionary, Mr. Altaf Iqbal – Chairman of Facets, we spoke about the history of gemstones from Sri Lanka, the marketing tools for millennials and the future plans for Facets. He further described why the Ceylon Sapphires (Blue Sapphire) has received tremendous attention in the country and globally for being a stone of strength. It is said that the Royals from Russia and Europe adorned the Blue Sapphire in their crowns and jewellery. To know about the history and marketing strategies of gemstones, click this
I was impressed to know the journey of Mr. Ehsan Refai – Chairman of Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association (SLGJA) and his vision to create a global awareness about the unique and impressive gemstone sources and collection found in Sri Lanka.
Moving on from gemstones to diamonds and discussing about one of the most popular and heated subject in the gems and jewellery industry about “Lab Grown Diamonds”, I found just the right person to discuss this with – Mr. Ramazan Mete Alak, EVP Global Sales – HRD Antwerp. He explained how there is an audience for each type of diamond, whether natural or lab-grown. He emphasised on the importance of learning about the diamonds to make an educated purchase. To see his interview video, click this
Gemstones Trends At Facets 2019
Although popular for their Bright Colored Blue Sapphires (formerly known as Ceylon Sapphire) Sri Lanka has a rich resource of colored Sapphires and other gemstones like Moonstone, Cats Eye, Spinel, Garnet etc. To know more about my experience with the platter of colorful gemstones I saw at the Facets, read further.
All the shades of Sapphires : Sri Lankan Sapphires are highly regarded as some of the best sapphires available on Earth.
a. Multi-colored Sapphire Dream: My first stop was at the booth of Vivid Gems, an internationally recognised dealer and exporter of precious and semi-precious gemstones from Sri Lanka where I saw a buffet of multi colored sapphires.
b. Blue Sapphire – Pride of Sri Lanka : Totally mesmerized with the Blue Sapphire laden Bird by Armil Sammoon – Chairman, Sapphire Capital Group, we discussed some frequently asked questions from a consumers buying perspective for a well informed purchase of a blue sapphire. It was fascinating to learn that he was passionate about every aspect of the Gemstone lifecycle.
c. The Sunny Yellow Sapphire Did You Know that a natural Yellow Sapphires is rarely put through a color stability test as the color clarity can diminish and it can affect the sale of the stone. Mr. Himas Isab, Director – Isab and Co. explains in the video details about what to focus on while purchasing a Yellow sapphire. Click this to see video
d. Pink Sapphire – Padparascha The Padparascha sapphire has gained recent popularity as Princess Eugene was seen adorning this gemstone in her Engagement Ring.
Mr. Zakir Wahab, Director of Bullion Exchange Jewellers gave me a complete tour of their collection and spoke about what makes Pink Sapphires special. Click here to see the video
Tsavorite Garnet Originating from Africa ( gem quality ones from Kenya and Tanzania ), Tsavorites are the emerald-green colored garnets that are quickly becoming a trend in the industry as they are said to be an emerald look-a-like. I found a romantic heart-shaped Tsavorite garnet from Mansoor Gems and immediately fell in love with it. Click here to see the video
Rubies If you are a Wizard of Oz fan like me, you have a different kind of interest in the Rubies besides its very obvious striking color. The rubies have a significance in history for being strong and protective. I was totally in awe when I saw this collection of Ruby jewellery from Zam Gems.
The Show Stopper Topaz
No other gemstone at the event garnered as much discussion and praise as the Rare 1502.01 carats Green Topaz from Precision Lapidaries (Pvt) Ltd by Aly Pascha. The unique gemstone has a journey that defined its color and amazed a group of people who were working on determining the properties of this stone 3 decades ago. Find out the complete story by clicking here
Jewellery Trends at Facets 2019
The show attracts a number of visitors for some rare and colored stones from the country and across the globe, but there were also some stunning jewellery pieces that emphasized on the latest trends amongst Sri Lankans and across the globe.
Silver jewellery with semi-precious gemstones
Sterling silver is popular in Sri Lanka for its durability and when coupled with the colorful array of gemstones found in the country, the jewellery pieces can attract a big audience. I was attracted to the colorful sight of the animal motif brooches from Trans Ceylon Gems and Jewellery.
Fancy Gold Jewellery – An Ode to Tradition
Pure Gold jewellery brings back memories from my visit to South Of India, where I was impressed by how the people carried forward their tradition of wearing Gold jewellery. With the migration of people from South of India and Arabic countries, they brought their traditions and jewellery trends with them and therefore we see a lot of their ethnic influence in gold jewellery. A big shout out to Gold Jewellery manufacturers supplying such jewellery, Sri Lanka can be a great market for you!
Different Designers coming under one Roof
There are always some booths at such international trade shows that not only bring designers together, but also attract a range of visitors and initiate discussions. The unusual textures and materials in the pieces at the Sri Lanka Export Development Board were a true definition of modern and new-age jewellery.
I was presented with the educational, Sri Lanka Gems book by Vladyslav Y. Yavorskyy, sponsored by SLGJA detailing the history and journey of the gemstones and how it affected the regions and country as a whole; from the author’s perspective.
Stay tuned for upcoming stories from the Artisanal mine visit in Sri Lanka.