JNA Awards Honouring Firmin Robert Wan, Jacques Branellec with Highest Accolade

HONG KONG, Aug. 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The sixth annual JNA Awards is honouring two trailblazers in the cultured pearl industry with the Lifetime Achievement Award, the awards programme's most prestigious accolade reserved for individuals whose vision and leadership have a positive and enduring impact on the world around them.


Firmin Robert Wan, the "Pearl Emperor of Tahiti," and Jacques Branellec, a pioneer in the cultivation of the golden South Sea pearl, are the recipients of the JNA Awards' highest recognition this year. This also marks the first time that the awards programme is presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award to two individuals.

Wan, founder of the Robert Wan Group, is widely credited for bringing the Tahitian pearl into the forefront of the fine jewellery industry, while Branellec, who co-founded Jewelmer with Filipino entrepreneur Manuel Cojuangco, is known for his groundbreaking work in the cultivation of golden South Sea pearls.

Firmin Robert Wan, founder of Robert Wan (left); Robert Wan’s Ensó necklace (right)
Firmin Robert Wan, founder of Robert Wan (left); Robert Wan’s Ensó necklace (right)

"I am extremely delighted and thankful to be the recipient of this prestigious award. Thank you JNA Awards for recognising my contributions to the jewellery industry. I have devoted my entire life to this fascinating gem. Today, I dedicate the pearl to all women who will succumb to its eternal beauty forever," Wan shared upon receiving the news of the award.

Jacques Branellec, Group President & CEO, Jewelmer (left); Jewelmer Joaillerie’s Guimard necklace, (right)
Jacques Branellec, Group President & CEO, Jewelmer (left); Jewelmer Joaillerie’s Guimard necklace, (right)

Branellec joined in, "I am deeply honoured to receive JNA's Lifetime Achievement Award. To me, it means that if one believes in rightfulness and innovates with the best intention, one will be rewarded beyond expectation. Having spent 47 years in the pearl industry, I keep in mind that humility is the key to success: to honour one's beginnings and to stay faithful to one's origins. Whether you are a manager or a pearl farmer, I believe it is important to associate value not with economic success but simply with the thought that you are a captain who has brought his ship safe to the right destination."

These two industry pillars, together with 34 Honourees that have been shortlisted across 10 categories, will be feted at the highly anticipated JNA Awards ceremony and gala dinner scheduled for 14 September in Hong Kong during the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair.

The JNA Awards is supported by Headline Partners Chow Tai Fook and Shanghai Diamond Exchange, together with Honoured Partners KGK Group, Rio Tinto Diamonds, Guangdong Gems & Jade Exchange, and Guangdong Land Holdings Limited.

The much-anticipated awards ceremony and gala dinner is a ticketed event by application only. Interested parties can book their seats now by submitting an online application form.

Individuals and companies shortlisted as Honourees for JNA Awards 2017:

Brand of the Year -- Retail
Goldendew Co Ltd - South Korea
Jewel Corner (Soft Touch Jewellers LLC) - United Arab Emirates
Shenzhen Ideal Jewellery Co Ltd - Mainland China
Tanaka Kikinzoku Jewelry K K - Japan

Industry Innovation of the Year
3D Jewellery Company Ltd - Mainland China
Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd - Hong Kong
Gübelin Gem Lab Ltd - Switzerland
Shenzhen Lingchengben Technology Co Ltd - Mainland China
Shenzhen Perfect Love Diamond Co Ltd - Mainland China
Shenzhen Sunfeel Jewelry Co Ltd - Mainland China
Voguegold Jewellery - Mainland China
Zhejiang Angeperle Co Ltd - Mainland China

Manufacturer of the Year -- Jewellery
KGK Group - Hong Kong
Shenzhen Foreway Group Co Ltd - Mainland China
Shenzhen Ganlu Jewelry Co Ltd - Mainland China
Shenzhen Gemhorn Jewelry Co Ltd - Mainland China

Outstanding Enterprise of the Year -- ASEAN
China Stone Co Ltd - Thailand
Phu Nhuan Jewelry Joint Stock Company - Vietnam
Tomei Consolidated Berhad - Malaysia

Outstanding Enterprise of the Year -- Greater China
Dongguan Gold Dragon Jewelry Co Ltd - Mainland China
Hiersun - Mainland China
Shenzhen Ideal Jewellery Co Ltd - Mainland China
Shenzhen Xingguangda Jewelry Industrial Co Ltd - Mainland China
Zhejiang Angeperle Co Ltd - Mainland China

Outstanding Enterprise of the Year -- India
KGK Diajewels India Pvt Ltd - India
Kiran Gems Pvt Ltd - India
RMC Gems India Ltd - India

Retailer of the Year (450 outlets and below)
Kashi Jewellers - India
Phu Nhuan Jewelry Joint Stock Company - Vietnam
SK Jewellery Pte Ltd - Singapore
Tomei Consolidated Berhad - Malaysia

eSupplier of the Year

Kela - Mainland China
Kiran Gems Pvt Ltd - India
Shree Ramkrishna Exports Pvt Ltd - India

Sustainability Initiative of the Year
J Hunter Pearls Fiji (Ltd) - Fiji
KGK Diajewels India Pvt Ltd - India

Young Entrepreneur of the Year (Age 40 and below)

Chau Tsankwan, Shenzhen Batar Investment Holding Group Co Ltd - Mainland China
Qi Xiao Man, Zhejiang Angeperle Co Ltd - Mainland China
Rihen Mehta, 7Cs Group - United Arab Emirates 
Zhang Guo Tao, Shenzhen Darry Jewelry Co Ltd - Mainland China

For more information, visit http://www.JNAawards.com/ or contact:
JNA Awards Marketing 
UBM Asia (Hong Kong
+852 2516-2184

Notes for Editors:

1.      About the Headline Partner

1.1 Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Limited (www.chowtaifook.com)

Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Limited is a world-class leading jeweller listed on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong in December 2011, and has become the largest jeweller listed in Hong Kong by market capitalisation.

The iconic brand "Chow Tai Fook" of the Group has been widely recognised for its trustworthiness and authenticity, and renowned for product design, quality and value. The acquisition of Hearts On Fire, an internationally acclaimed U.S. luxury diamond brand, in August 2014 has further underpinned the Group's stature as a diamond expert in the industry.

The Group boasts an extensive retail network comprising over 2,300 Chow Tai Fook and Hearts On Fire stores spanning more than 500 cities in Greater China, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and the United States, as well as a strong and fast growing e-tail network through operating its Chow Tai Fook e-Shops and various e-tail accounts on other online shopping platforms.

The Group's sophisticated vertically integrated business model provides it with an effective and tight control over the entire operation chain from raw material procurement, design, production, to marketing and sales through its extensive POS and e-tail channels.

1.2 Shanghai Diamond Exchange (www.cnsde.com)

Authorised by the State Council, the Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE) is the only diamond exchange in China and provides diamond dealers a fair and safe transaction venue under close supervision. It also enjoys a favourable taxation policy and is operated in accordance with international best practices of the diamond industry.

Established in 2000, the SDE is a non-profit, self-regulating membership organisation and a member of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses.

2.      About the Honoured Partners

2.1 KGK Group (www.kgkgroup.com)

The KGK Group was founded in 1905 by Kesrimal Kothari and Ghisilal Kothari of Jaipur (India), with the humble task of trading gemstones between India and Burma. With a global presence across 19 countries today, the privately held group has evolved into one of the most preferred brands in the gemstone and jewellery industry, with a vertically integrated operation that spans the entire supply chain from mines to brands. KGK is one of the few conglomerates covering the entire spectrum of mining, sourcing, manufacturing and distribution of coloured gemstones, diamonds and jewellery for over a century. KGK Group has a resilient team of 12,000 employees with operations and offices in Asia, Australia, North and South America, Europe and Africa. Having achieved an impeccable reputation in the gemstone, diamond and jewellery trade, the group has recently diversified into real estate.

2.2 Rio Tinto Diamonds (www.riotinto.com/diamondsandminerals)

Rio Tinto Diamonds is one of the world's major producers of rough diamonds and operates a fully integrated diamond exploration, mining and marketing business.

For over three decades, the company has been an important participant in the international diamond market with two world class underground diamond mines in Australia (Argyle) and Canada (Diavik) and an advanced diamond project in India (Bunder).

Rio Tinto Diamonds' production is sorted and prepared for sale at its sales and marketing office in Antwerp, Belgium, supported by a network of representative offices in Hong Kong, Mumbai and New York. It also operates a niche cutting and polishing factory in Perth, Australia for the rare pink diamonds from its Argyle mine. Rio Tinto Diamonds is a leading supporter of the Kimberley Process, as well as a founding member of the Responsible Jewellery Council and the Diamond Producers Association.

2.3 The Guangdong Gems & Jade Exchange (http://en.gdgje.com/)

Founded in February 2016, the Guangdong Gems & Jade Exchange is one of two provincial jewellery trading platforms authorised by the People's Government of Guangdong Province.

Aggregating resources from key industrial hubs across Guangdong including Guangzhou, Pingzhou of Foshan, Yangmei of Jieyang and Sihui of Zhaoqing, the Guangdong Gems & Jade Exchange joins hands with world-renowned jewellery brands in setting up an international supply chain integrated service platform that offers a secure and convenient trading experience for domestic and overseas jewellers.

The Guangdong Gems & Jade Exchange is set to benefit China's jewellery industry in a variety of areas, such as the promotion of a healthier and more balanced international division of labour, foreign trade development, cross-border resource management and consumer market growth. As part of this effort, it will take full advantage of the base and influence of Guangdong's jewellery industry and the benefits stemming from the Belt and Road Initiative to establish linkages with national and global gemstone and jewellery markets.

2.4 The Guangdong Land Holdings Limited (www.gdland.com.hk)

The Guangdong Land Holdings Limited (GDLAND), with its headquarters in Hong Kong, is listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited, and is a subsidiary of GDH Limited, which is Guangdong Province's largest conglomerate operating outside Mainland China.

The principal business of GDLAND is property development and investment, including but not limited to the development and operational management of the innovative commercial real estate, urban complex and industrial business complex. As the strategic arm of GDH Limited, GDLAND engages in the business development of commercial real estate, as well as the projects of urban and industrial complex.

GDLAND's flagship project, namely the "Buxin Project", is planned to become the biggest and most advanced jewellery mart in the world, including a large-scale jewellery trading and exhibition centre along with other facilities, with a lot size of over 87,000 square metres and the construction scale (floor area) is expected to be more than 700,000 square metres. The Buxin Project, which is located in the Buxin area of Luohu district in Central Shenzhen, close to the Shuibei Gold and Jewellery Base, is expected to develop the area into one of the most influential gold and jewellery trading and exchange platforms in China and around the world.

3.      About UBM Asia (www.ubmasia.com)

Owned by UBM plc listed on the London Stock Exchange, UBM Asia is the largest events organiser in Asia, India and SE Asia. We are also the leading commercial organiser in China. Established with its headquarters in Hong Kong and subsidiary companies across Asia and in the US, UBM Asia has a strong global presence in 25 major cities with 36 offices and over 1,600 employee.

With a track record spanning over 30 years, UBM Asia operates in 11 market sectors with over 290 events, 28 targeted trade publications, 18 round-the-clock online products for over 2,000,000 quality exhibitors, visitors, conference delegates, advertisers and subscribers from all over the world. We provide a one-stop diversified global service for high-value business matching, quality market news and online trading networks.

UBM Asia has extensive office networks in China, Southeast Asia and India, three of the world's fastest growing B2B events markets. UBM China has 12 offices in the major cities in mainland China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Guzhen and Shenzhen, where we organise 90 events. In ASEAN, UBM Asia operates from its offices in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines with 70 events in this region. UBM India teams in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai organise over 20 events every year across the country.

UBM Asia was awarded 'Asia's Most Reliable Trade Show Organizer Award' in Hong Kong's Most Valuable Companies Awards (HKMVCA) 2017.

4.      About JNA (www.jewellerynewsasia.com)

JNA is the flagship publication of UBM Asia's Jewellery Group. First published in 1983, the title is the leader in providing up-to-date international jewellery trade news with an Asian insight. It features original, in-depth reports by experienced journalists covering the latest developments in the diamond, pearl, coloured gemstone, jewellery manufacturing, and equipment and supplies sectors.

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