The highlight of the annual Middle East Watches and Jewelry exhibition in Sharjah is one of the world’s largest uncut emeralds, called Prince of Kafu. Originating from the mines of Zambia, it weighs approximately 4kg and is on sale for approximately Dh7 million.
According to Mahima Verma of the World Academy of Design (WAD), who brought the emerald to the exhibition, they have seen a lot of interest in the stone. “This is a great addition to any collector’s portfolio,” she said. “It can be stored safely and its value will increase. “There are so many possibilities with a stone like this.”
At the exhibition, the popularity of gemstones was extremely high. Stalls selling beautifully crafted jewelry with unique stones had hundreds of customers and good sales.
“People invest in gemstones for various reasons,” said a spokesperson for Italian jewelry brand Vanessa Gioielli. “For most of our customers, the attraction is that we use natural stones. None of our stones are laboratory grown. This means they are expensive, but people are willing to pay that for the real product.”
The brand sells ornaments in various stones, such as sapphire, emerald and pink tourmaline. He also said that in the UAE some of the best sellers are ornaments with the largest stones. “People here prefer big stones and unique pieces,” he said. “All of our jewelry pieces are handmade so no two pieces are the same. “We have a great local customer base for these pieces.”
The Watch & Jewelery Middle East exhibition will continue throughout the weekend until Sunday, February 4 at the Sharjah Expo Center with free entry for visitors. Throughout the entire exhibition, hundreds of buyers could be seen heading straight to the various stalls picking up various pieces of jewelry with good deals and discounts. Interest in precious stones seemed evident everywhere.
The WAD, which regularly hosts design competitions for jewelers around the world, displays more than 60 intricately crafted gemstone jewelry, ranging from tiaras and brooches to elaborate necklaces and wedding rings.
Mahima said she has noticed that it is the younger generation who are increasingly choosing to invest in gemstone jewellery. “They love, understand and appreciate gemstones and choose to invest in them, unlike the previous generation who preferred to invest only in pure gold,” she said. “These stones add color to the jewelry. In addition, natural stones have medicinal and healing properties. That’s why people like to buy jewelry with specific stones, like their birthstones, or those with specific properties. “
Tells a story
For some, gemstones make their jewelry collection shine. “Stones have a narrative power that some people prefer,” said Anik Shah of Dimano Stone. “They add character to the jewelry and people want to add it to their collection. Sometimes they are gifts for a special occasion and other times they are bought to attend a wedding or something.”
He said most of those who buy gemstones do not consider it an investment. “It’s not about resale value or investment value that increases the appeal of buying gemstone jewelry for most people,” he said. “It’s the pop of color, the stories they tell and what they mean to them in terms of sentimental value and beauty.”
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