Jewellery Trade Fair - Hong Kong

Aladdin's Cave

A favourite aspect of my job is attending trade fairs in Hong Kong.

The trade fair at Asia World Expo and the Hong Kong Exhibition Centre, is acres of booths, one lined up after the other, filled with pearls, diamonds, precious stones and exquisite jewellery.

It's an Aladdin's cave filled with treasures.

Attending these trade fairs is hard work and to help me through the week my wonderful Mr Secretary comes with me.

As well as being responsible for carrying all the money, tracking down companies at the fair and noting new companies, he was in charge of further exploration of Hong Kong.

This year he organised some amazing hikes for us.

The exceptional weather and minimal smog over the week made it a particularly good time to do so.

Day 1 - Arrival

After being cooped up in a plane for approximately 11 hours, Mr Secretary thought it would be a good idea to head out on one of our hikes.

Dragon's Back. An easy walk & one enjoyed by hundreds of locals. Sharing a walk with that many people is something, as Kiwis, we aren't used to.

But not surprising considering there are approx. 7.1million people living in Hong Kong.

Day 2 - Jewellery Bags and Hike No. 2

There are many shops in Hong Kong that have lovely embroidered jewellery bags and pretty containers for earings.

They are good prices, but not super cheap.

After I had spent considerable time looking and choosing, Mr Secretary was ready for us to catch a ferry across to Lantau Island (an hour's journey) and hike stage 1 & 2 of Sunset Peak.

Lantau Island offers over 70kms of walks and they are broken into stages.

It was a beautiful day, unseasonably warm and relatively clear of smog. Sunset Peak is 869 metres high and after stage one it is ascended via steps: a three hour hike in total & it is possible I became a little grumpy with Mr Secretary for not bringing enough water!

Day 3 - South Sea Pearl Buying and Hike No. 3

I awoke to a magnificent day, so little smog.
My South Sea Pearl wholesalers are based in Australia, but they also have an office in Hong Kong and an office with a magnificent view.

It is not possible for me to go on a buying trip without purchasing some beautiful South Sea Pearls.

Sitting in their office, I am given trays and trays of lustrous pearls to look over. They know I have a weakness for them, but sadly logic and finances stop me from buying too many!

The afternoon saw us on an express train out to Asia World Expo to register for the fair. There were hundreds of people from many different cultures lined up with us.

Registering requires proof of business and plenty of identification. Then a 'hall' pass is issued.

Hurray – one step closer to viewing the treasures!

Hike 3

An evening stroll turned into an unexpected hike.

To enjoy the evening lights of HK on such a clear day, we decided to walk to the cable car and catch a ride up to The Peak.

As we arrived at the cable car, our shoulders slumped.

Hundreds of other people had the same idea – and why wouldn't they, it was such a beautiful evening.

Not to be deterred, Mr Secretary suggested that we walk up. Good plan, at least I thought so until I realised it was considerably steeper and higher than I had expected.
As we neared the top, I was encouraged by the fact that we could at least catch the cable car back down.

How silly of me – what goes up must come back down.

So walking back down appeared to be the best option.

More than 3 hours later we were back at our hotel.

Day 4 - Trade Fair Begins

The opening day of the Gem and Pearl Trade Fair.

Up and out early to catch the free shuttle bus to AWE.

Large queues of people, waiting to get into the halls, were already forming: people ready and waiting to get the best gem at the best possible price.

My first stopping point was the Italian Pavilion.

I wanted to purchase some beautiful hand carved cameos. To my surprise, this year, there were many cameo stands and some with their talented craftsmen at work.
The photo below is of me perusing a selection of cameos.

Looking, selecting and deciding can take hours and so the day passes quite quickly.

Day 5 - 2nd Day of the Fair

Up and out early to the trade fair again.

The bus ride out to the fair is about 45mins and is a good opportunity to see more sights of Hong Kong. Hong Kong is a high energy, hugely industrial & rapidly growing city.This photo is of the development below our hotel, reported to be the development of more train lines.

My focus for my second day at the trade fair was strands and loose black Tahitian pearls.

What do I look for?

Pearls that have minimal markings – these markings are a natural occurrence and happen during the growth of the pearl.

Good lustre, nice shape, complexion and of course a good price tag.

I am pleased to say I bought some stunning strands of black pearls!

Day 6 - Last Day of Shopping

My final day of shopping at the fair.

Stones were the day's focus and my plan was to find stones with a wow factor. This I was pleased to accomplish.
By mid-day my brain was turning to mush & Mr Secretary and I decided to make the most of the weather and tackle Lantau Peak – stage 3.

After packing enough water this time round, we took a train ride to Tung Chung and caught an impressive gondola ride up to an old monk village with a popular tourist attraction of a giant Buddha.

In the picture below is a road being built across the sea to Macau Island. Also note the giant Buddha.
Starting a 3 hour hike at 4pm prompted some people coming off the hike to question our logic - as it was dark by 6.30pm.

Not to be deterred we continued up what seemed like endless steps.

Lantau Peak is 934metres to the top and boasts a magnificent view.

Mr Secretary cracked the whip over us and we finished the hike in less than two hours. We then had to catch a bus to the ferry terminal and a quick dash to catch a departing ferry.
Needless to say I could hardly move that night.

Day 7 - Ready to Wear Jewellery

The ready–to-wear jewellery is displayed in the Hong Kong Exhibition Centre. It is quite an impressive building and filled with glamorous displays.

Our hotel was attached to the back of the Exhibition Centre, so a mere stroll to the exhibit.
Below is a tiny snippet of some of the stunning jewellery for sale. A yellow and white diamond necklace and the photo following is rubies and diamonds.
Again the Exhibition Centre was a huge area to cover.

With the physical exertion of so many hikes in one week and the emotional energy used in deciding and selecting gems to buy - near the end of the day I found myself sitting on a loo and crying!

So time to head back to the hotel, pack up and be ready to fly home the following day.

All in all a fantastic week!

My next blog will be on the art of cameo's – pronounced 'carrr – me – o' and some pictures of the stunning ones I have bought.


This product has been added to your cart