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Jewellery Trends Revealed for 2016: HKTDC Hong Kong International Jewellery Show Survey

A poll of 1,241 buyers and exhibitors at the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show and the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem and Pearl Show indicates that karat gold will be the most popular precious metal in 2016, with white, rose and yellow gold as the favourite colours.

As for gemstones, diamonds are expected to be the most sought-after this year, followed by pearls – especially Akoya pearls and South Sea pearls – rubies and jade, particularly “A” jade.

While there is no consensus among diamond traders as to the preference of melee or solitaire designs, they overwhelmingly agree that the prong setting will be the most popular. In terms of the 4Cs grading of diamonds, the favourite is expected to be the one carat, colourless, round-cut and VVS (very very slightly included) in clarity.

Popular Precious Metals and Gemstones

Most respondents expect karat gold to be the most popular precious metal in 2016, with 50%, 38% and 31% favouring white, rose and yellow colours, respectively, the same top choices as last year. Compared with the 2015 survey, significantly more respondents are opting for karat rose, up to 38% from 33%.

Chart: Popular Materials
Chart: Popular Materials

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For gemstones, 54% of respondents in the 2016 survey continue to see diamonds as the most popular, up from 50% last year, followed by pearls (17%), rubies (15%) and jade (12%).

Chart: Popular Gemstones
Chart: Popular Gemstones

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When it comes to jade, respondents overwhelmingly expect “A” jade (79%) to be the most popular type in 2016, compared with 57% last year. This increase comes at the expense of “B” jade (down to 18% from 29% last year) and “C” jade (3% from 14%). Pearl traders favour Akoya pearls (up to 39% from 31%) and South Sea pearls (29% from 26%) more this year, and freshwater pearls (down to 21% from 30%) and Tahitian (11% from 13%) less.

 

Chart: Popular Types of Jade and Pearl
Chart: Popular Types of Jade and Pearl

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The Diamond Trend

On diamond jewellery design, traders have an evenly spread view on the popular type this year – 52% opting for melee and 48% choosing solitaire, while last year’s opinion was more a tilt towards melee (56%). On the other hand, respondents overwhelmingly believe prong (41%) will be the most popular setting this year, beating micosetting (24%) and channel (18%). Last year, both microsetting and prong received about a quarter of the respondents’ votes for the most popular setting.

Chart: Popular Types and Settings for Diamond Jewellery Design
Chart: Popular Types and Settings for Diamond Jewellery Design

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In terms of diamond carat weight, most respondents agree that 1 carat (38%) will be the most popular this year, followed closely by 50-99 points (35%). There seems to be a shift in consumer preference this year towards diamonds of a lighter weight, as observed by the significant drop of 10 percentage points in the share of respondents choosing 1 carat, while the share for 50-99 points has increased noticeably by 17 percentage points.

 

Chart: Popular Carat Weight of Diamond
Chart: Popular Carat Weight of Diamond

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More than half of the diamond traders in the 2016 survey say D-F (colourless) diamonds will be the most popular, up 15 percentage points from last year. About a third of respondents prefer G-J (near colourless), similar to last year. However, both K-M (faint) and N-R (very light) are seeing less support this year.

Chart: Popular Colour of Diamond
Chart: Popular Colour of Diamond

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Compared with last year, there is a substantial increase in the percentage of respondents favouring round-cut diamonds – up to 71% from 45%. All other cuts are receiving less attention this year, especially the emerald cut, which dropped 10 percentage points to 4% in the 2016 survey.

 

Chart: Popular Cut of Diamond
Chart: Popular Cut of Diamond

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In terms of the clarity scale, traders’ views are about the same as last year. Most are opting for VVS (very very slightly included) (35%), followed by VS (very slightly included) (30%) and flawless / internally flawless (25%). There is a small shift of preference towards flawless / internally flawless from VS this year.

 

Chart: Popular Clarity Scale of Diamond
Chart: Popular Clarity Scale of Diamond

Download excel


Profile of respondents

  • 466 exhibitors – 43% from Hong Kong, 29% based in Asia (excluding Hong Kong), and 28% from the rest of the world
  • 775 buyers – major markets in Asia (72%), Western Europe (10%), and North America (9%)

The Hong Kong International Jewellery Show and the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem and Pearl Show took place from 1-7 March 2016 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and the AsiaWorld-Expo, respectively.

Content provided by Picture: Wenda Ma
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