'Reasonably-priced' gems to be on sale at Singapore JewelFest 2016

SINGAPORE - Diamonds are forever, but not for everyone with its steep price. This year's Singapore JewelFest 2016, which makes a comeback to Ngee Ann City from Oct 7 to 16, hopes to make gemstones more accessible to the public.

According to the organisers, price-accessible pieces will make up a significant percentage of the jewellery for shoppers in 2016, with some pieces priced below $10,000.

"Given the not so vibrant economic climate, we want to encourage sales by being realistic about price point but not compromising on quality," said festival director Ms Angela Loh.

"Our shoppers should be able to pick up beautifully crafted jewellery with quality gems at a reasonable price."

While there are 57 jewellers for the festival compared to 75 in 2015, Ms Loh is confident that sales numbers will not disappoint.

"We don't want to ignore that early 2016 has shown slow spending on luxury items. However, our jewellers have faith in the spending power in the South-east Asian market and shoppers," Ms Loh revealed.

15 countries will be represented at the event, such as Belgium, Germany, Japan, Russia, Singapore and Switzerland.

Singapore jeweller Caratell will be showcasing a 13.73-carat Afghan Emerald valued at US$1.3 million (S$1.75 million), while an extremely rare 4.90-carat green heart-shaped diamond ring worth over US$2.7 million (S$3.63 million) from local jeweller Vihari will also be on display.

Invited visitors to the 14th edition of Singapore JewelFest will also be able to catch the runway shows where fashion is intertwined with precious stones.

Dutch high-street fashion label G-Star Raw and Fiziwoo from Malaysia will showcase their collections with jewellery piece. Homegrown designer Thomas Wee - who recently made a comeback to the retail scene with his boutique at Mandarin Gallery - will also unveil an exclusive couture collection at the event.

Last year's festival saw 27,000 visitors to the Jewel Pavilion over 10 days and $15 million in sales.

25,000 visitors are expected to Singapore JewelFest over the 10 days this year at the 10,000 sq ft Jewel Pavillion.

grongloh@sph.com.sg