A total of 3,218 visitors came to Palexpo to discover the outstanding gemstones and new releases on display at GemGenève. Throughout the four-day event, exhibitors closed new deals and the general public had the opportunity to find out all about the many different aspects of jewellery, resulting in a unique experience for first-time buyers and seasoned collectors alike. GemGenève is a showcase featuring a range of exceptional gems and numerous treasures alongside a high-level cultural offering devised by GemGenève Director Mathieu Dekeukelaire. 1,361 of the 3,218 visitors came to the tradeshow more than once, bringing the total number of visits to 4,579. The organisers noted a slight decrease in the total number of visits and visitors, down 12% and 9.2% respectively compared to the November 2022 edition, which saw 5,205 visits / 3,543 visitors this time. This decline can be attributed to the current geopolitical situation in the Middle East and Europe. Given the circumstances, the organisers deemed these to be dynamic and encouraging figures.
The tradeshow brought together 144 professional dealers among a total of 172 exhibitors including Emerging Talents & New Designers, schools, Arts & Crafts, The Pearl Odyssey exhibition and the LetuBooks and Gem Collectors Bookshops to name but a few, as well as laboratories and the exhibition’s other partners.
The Pearl Odyssey exhibition, the flag-ship feature of this edition, was a roaring success with professionals and private clients and the general public alike. The organisers have not ruled out the idea of a travelling exhibition in the near future. The Pearl Odyssey tells the story of the pearl tradition and its treasures from ancient times through to the state-of-the-art techniques used in contemporary laboratories, allowing visitors to GemGenève to discover some forty outstanding pieces from among the finest private and heritage collections. The exhibition was made possible by the support of Chaumet, the Alfardan Collection, the Flee Project collective, the SSEF laboratory and a private collector, with the collaboration of partner exhibitors (Faerber-Collection, Gem Collectors Bookshop, Heritage Gems, Horovitz & Totah SA, Joseph Gad, Nicolas Torroni, Ocean Flame, and Swiss Pearls) and other dealers including Hofer Antischmuck, Oasis Pearl and Ecija.
During the opening ceremony for this seventh edition of GemGenève, the event’s co-founder Ronny Totah alluded to the symbolic nature of the figure 7 and the film The Seven Year Itch (entitled ‘Seven years of thinking’ in French): years of careful thought and maturity have enabled the GemGenève team to improve and build up all sorts of links with exhibitors, cultural contributors and partners from the world of education. As he explained, “During these difficult times, I very much hope that the four days of this seventh edition will provide a measure of respite and wellbeing for all of us and be an opportunity for us to deepen our relationships still further”.
Geneva’s State Councillor for the Economy and Employment Delphine Bachmann delivered an upbeat speech on the expertise of the profession, stressing her admiration for the innovation and creativity hubs featured at the exhibition as part of its stunning programme.
As Ronny Totah emphasised: “the slight decrease in traffic compared to last November doesn’t appear to have had an impact on sales volumes. The exhibitors benefited from a favourable environment for business, discussions, and networking opportunities with connoisseurs and amateur enthusiasts alike.”
He added: “The fine jewellery market and the upper echelons of the antique and collectors’ jewellery market are in good shape overall. Natural pearls, high-quality coloured stones and signed jewels remain highly sought-after. While it’s difficult to gauge the volume of sales and analyse trends, it would appear that things are just as they were in previous editions.”
While exhibitors were clearly tired at the end of a four-day marathon, everyone appeared to be satisfied with the result. Indeed, word has it that some excellent deals were completed for certain high-quality pieces. Thomas Faerber had this to say: “Market conditions remain healthy, buoyed by inflation in many regions of the world, adding to the appeal of high-quality pieces as safe investments.”
Visitors travelled from 92 countries to attend the seventh edition of the Geneva International Gem & Jewellery Show. In terms of geographical breakdown, most came from Switzerland (1,211), followed by France (over 700), Italy (197), Belgium (149), the UK (120) and the USA (84).
As a unique platform dedicated to coloured gemstones, outstanding diamonds, pearls, antique and contemporary pieces of jewellery, recognised designers and emerging talents, GemGenève’s reputation for quality has gone from strength to strength with each new edition; the event is becoming increasingly popular with exhibitors, buyers and the international media, who now make sure the event is down in their editorial diaries. Purchasers ranging from international retailers and leading jewellery houses to collectors and private buyers displayed a keen interest in making new acquisitions and concluding business deals.
Led by Nadège Totah, the event hosted nine talented designers in the ‘Designer Village’: five Emerging Talents and four New Designers. For the fourth time running, GemGenève set aside a very special place for the Strong & Precious Art Foundation: Ukrainian Jewellers bringing together six Ukrainian designers.
As a genuine powerhouse of creativity, GemGenève offers its visitors a fully immersive experience into the different skills involved in the jewellery industry with a high-level educational programme:
•A total of 13 talks and panel discussions, all available on replay at digital.gemgeneve.com. All were well-attended, with an average of 30-40 in the audience at each presentation. One such talk on an animal theme was Snakes in jewellery, precious and sinuous symbols given by Gislain Aucremanne, Heritage Curator Director at Bulgari. One of the panel debates discussed an issue very much in the news at present: How AI is disrupting the analysis of precious stones: limits and opportunities, chaired by Andrea Machalova and featuring Laurent Cartier, Daniel Nyfeler and Laura Tocmacov. Another, at which every seat was taken, dealt with The Future of Marketing Jewels on Social Media, hosted by David Brough from Jewellery Outlook and featuring influencers such as Donna Jewel (Laura Inghirami), Katerina Perez, Champagne Gem (Bebe Bakhshi) and The Diamond Talk (Renu Choudhary).
•Working sessions in partnership with the French-speaking gemmology association Gemmologie & Francophonie have been a regular feature since May 2022, with reports published by the Association in its new review GEMMES.
Following a successful launch in partnership with Gemmologie & Francophonie, the working session resumed at the November event. The main topic under discussion was What does sustainability mean in the world of jewellery? The working session on Saturday 4 November was entitled Creating a basis for content in a jeweller/vendor guide and customer information: categories, best practices, facts & fairytales.
•Authors of books on jewellery held book-signing sessions. The works in question included L’esprit Chaumet (the Chaumet Spirit) by Gabrielle de Montmorin, Minéralogie Enchantée, 40 histoires de pierres (Enchanted Mineralogy 40 stories of stones) by Patricia Desmortiers, illustrated by Lola Muna Lugand and Yewn Bijoux d’art contemporain et route de la soie Yewn Contemporary Art Jewellery and the Silk Road) by Juliet Weir de La Rochefoucauld.
•Keynote Interview: Gabrielle de Montmorin x Jean-Marc Mansvelt, CEO, Chaumet.
•A poetic exhibition entitled The Pearl Odyssey brought together more than forty jewels and outstanding pieces, bearing witness to the tradeshow’s commitment to promoting jewellery arts. The exhibition was made possible through the support of Chaumet, the Alfardan Collection, the Flee Project collective, SSEF and a private collector, with the collaboration of partner exhibitors (Faerber-Collection, Gem Collectors Bookshop, Heritage Gems, Horovitz & Totah SA, Joseph Gad, Nicolas Torroni, Ocean Flame and Swiss Pearls) and other dealers including Hofer Antischmuck, Oasis Pearl and Ecija; all joining forces in this unique undertaking as they agreed to put some of their finest pieces on display for the occasion.
•A space dedicated to Arts & Crafts devised in partnership with the Jewelsmithing Crafts Association of Romandie (ASMEBI) and partner schools Geneva Vocational Training Centre for Arts & Crafts (CFP Arts Genève) and École Technique de la Vallée de Joux (ETVJ) hosted a programme of demonstrations of expertise by enamellers, chain-makers, sheath-makers, inlayers, laceworkers, glassmiths, and specialists in 3-D metal printing.
Donna Jewel x GemGenève project with students from Galdus School
The Donna Jewel ‘People’s Choice’ award was presented to the winner, Francesca Quartieri
As part of the ‘Be the change’ project launched by the GemGenève team and journalist, instructor and influencer Laura Inghirami, 21 students from Galdus School in Milan were invited to produce 21 pieces of jewellery. Throughout the four-day event, these students in their last year of the ‘High Technician for the Production of High Quality Made in Italy goldsmith products – ITS class II’ course at the Galdus School in Milan in 2023/2024 celebrated the excellence of ‘Made in Italy’ at GemGenève.
The theme of this creative project was movement. As Laura Inghirami says, “movement is evocative of courage, growth, and shifting towards new horizons. It creates unity and entails consequences. It’s said that the beating of a butterfly’s wings can cause a hurricane on the other side of the world”.
The Donna Jewel ‘People’s Choice’ award was presented on 5 November 2023 to Francesca Quartieri for her ‘kinetic brooch’ entitled Astraea (the Greek goddess of purity and justice). The piece is inspired by the lotus flower, which in Japanese culture symbolises the purity of the soul. The winner will benefit from more visibility thanks to an interview with Laura Inghirami to be published on Donna Jewel’s social media pages.
GemGenève is a unique hub where jewellery designers, dealers in precious stones, retailers, collectors, connoisseurs and buyers both professional and private can all gather under the same roof. Over the course of four days, GemGenève offers an opportunity to acquire exceptional pieces and be inspired by a community of specialists in the field of gemmology and jewellery. It’s a laboratory of creativity and innovation, bringing together recognised designers and emerging talents; a world of design, rare gems, and antique and contemporary jewellery. Created by exhibitors for exhibitors, GemGenève offers a platform for expression and exchange that encompasses passion, expertise and education.
For more information https://gemgeneve.com.