The Singapore International Jewellery Expo (SIJE) is revered for its impressive showcase of the finest jewellery and gemstones from around the globe. With a reputation that precedes it, this expo has become an annual celebration of opulence and luxury. Hosted in the vibrant city of Singapore, the expo draws together renowned jewellery brands, talented artisans, and industry experts under one roof.
Iniskim International had the opportunity to attend the 2023 SIJE from July 13-16 to share the vibrant story of Ammolite stones, emphasize the importance of sustainable mining practices, and emphasize the preservation of this colourful gemstone’s Canadian Indigenous heritage.
Amarjeet Grewal, President and Co-Founder of Iniskim, shares her experience at the 2023 SIJE. In this interview, we delve into the inspirations behind Iniskim’s remarkable journey, the significance of their participation at SIJE, and the profound impact of Ammolite – the gemstone that lies at the heart of our brand.
Showcasing Ammolite Stones at SIJE 2023
- Can you share your overall experience attending the Singapore International Jewellery Expo (SIJE)? What impressed you the most during your visit?
A thrilling experience, to say the least. Singapore itself, the liveliness of the city and the energy of the attendees and exhibitors are on a different level than other exhibitions we’ve attended. You can feel the dedication, the positivity, and the eagerness.
Though the show is considered much smaller than what we’re used to attending, it’s a bit grander in many other aspects. The attention to detail is there, from opening day to the different seminars and everything in between.
SIJE is considered the most important jewellery event in Singapore for the Asian market. It is attended by B2B and B2C businesses, locals (open to the public) and international jewellers, designers, and buyers. Here are some fast facts: there were 285 Singapore and international exhibitors from 28 countries, and the event attracted more than 10,000 trade and consumers over the past four days.
- What motivated you to attend the Singapore International Jewellery Expo, both personally and for Iniskim? What were your expectations before attending the event?
Last year when I attended a Singapore exhibition, it was for a different purpose. Our team was doing a temperature check on Southeast Asia for the Ammolite market. Not that we’re strangers to selling in this particular market, but the pandemic has had an impact on the coloured gemstone industry. So it was about getting the lay of the land and introducing ourselves to the people we could eventually do business with.
Also, the primary difference between the two shows is that 2022s was organized by Hong Kong event organizers, while this year, 2023, was officially for the Singapore International Jewelry Show. With the difference in event organization, you can see that the networking opportunities change, and it appeals to different types of exhibitors that are a part of the show.
For this year, our primary purpose was to collaborate with our client to showcase Ammolite on another level. There was a dedicated booth that featured Ammolite and Ammonite fossils, and I also gave an educational seminar about Ammolite to VIP clients. It was an opportunity on an international platform, which is more than we could have anticipated!
- What’s the significance for you to attend international shows and conventions for Iniskim?
As a newer small business, brand awareness is incredibly important. But beyond that, our intent is to educate industry leaders, designers, and the general public that Canadian Ammolite is a rare, semi-precious gemstone that hasn’t had the profile amongst other coloured gemstones. Attending these shows is always a door of opportunity to open where we can inspire others and celebrate such a unique gemstone with a rich history.
- Was there a connection you made that really stood out to you?
In collaboration with our clients, Iniskim was given the stage at the VIP lounge to educate and share the story of Ammolite. Mr. Tay Thye Sun, the top gemologist from Singapore, was invited to the seminar and after our presentation, he spoke passionately to me about his interest in discovering little-known gemstones like Ammolite. He was keen to explore and learn more about it, and he acknowledged the importance of bringing it to light globally.
- What new information or connections have you gained that will be particularly beneficial for the Ammolite/Ammonite industry?
I met some very interesting designers who are very keen to introduce Ammolite to their collection, or design and collaborate with Iniskim. They had heard about Ammolite stones, or had been exposed to the gemstone in passing previously. However, the collection we showcased at the booth was incomparable as they had never seen such natural high-end quality Ammolite.
- In your opinion, how does the Singapore International Jewellery Expo compare to other similar events or exhibitions you’ve attended?
There is really no comparison as SIJE brings more South Asian clientele who are eager to learn, explore and eventually invest in coloured gemstones. South Asia is not a new market, but it is newer for Ammolite, especially the countries that are less mainstream. In my opinion, it’s worth the investment of my time and for the business to educate and grow this untapped market.
- Were there any emerging trends or new innovations in the jewelry industry that you noticed while at the expo? How do you think they will impact the market?
There are many trends that 2023 has introduced, whether in Singapore or in North America, but our favourite is the love of coloured gemstones and how fun it is to mix and match. There are more designers willing to colour outside of the lines, which is what we love to see! And with that, they’re also looking to use new gemstones that people haven’t seen before… like Ammolite!
People are eager to invest in a gemstone that will bring value, to appreciate over time.
We’ve also seen an uptake in the interest of Ammonites as a piece of art! Collectors have eyed unique fossil pieces and there is a huge demand for museum-quality pieces that are hard to find. For Ammonite, visitors to our booth were astonished to hear that the natural colours of Ammonite are natural and not painted.
- How do you think attending the Singapore International Jewellery Expo will benefit you in your professional or personal endeavours moving forward? Are there any key takeaways you plan to implement?
We are already planning to exhibit again in 2024! Within days of SIJE wrapping up, we’ve already seen an increase in interest and leads. There’s an appetite for Ammolite and Ammonite, and we already have plans in the pipeline that have emerged from this show. Once these plans come to fruition, it will definitely benefit Insikim’s vision and dream to bring awareness globally.
We are working on more collaborations and educational seminars as well! This will help bring awareness to the Ammolite industry, while we’ll focus on standardizing the grading system and generating conversation and action to lead sustainability, and ethical and responsible sourcing. As a small, niche industry, this hasn’t been implemented across the board for all businesses, and we hope to change the future of how Ammolite is mined, sourced and distributed.
The Highlights of SIJE 2023
The Singapore International Jewellery Expo (SIJE) 2023, jointly managed by CEMS and the Italian Exhibition Group (IEG), made history as the largest and most successful event to date. With an impressive lineup of 285 exhibitors from 28 countries, the expo drew over 10,000 trade professionals and enthusiastic consumers.
The astounding numbers didn’t stop at attendance; the event’s transactions soared to several million dollars, reflecting the high demand and value placed on the showcased jewellery pieces. SIJE 2023 witnessed record-breaking orders and purchases, solidifying its position as a pivotal event in the luxury jewellery industry.
Among the highlights was the unforgettable Peranakan Sayang party hosted by Alvin Oon, attended by approximately 50 men and women dressed in their resplendent kerbaya outfits, embodying the essence of the nonya tradition.
Notably, the Malaysian Royal family graced the event. Their enthusiasm for exquisite jewellery was evident as they indulged in a grand shopping spree at the event’s grand finale, visiting high-end jewellers such as Mor Brothers, Zydo, Mossimo Raiteri, and Vihari.
One of the most remarkable moments came during the opening day when Ivy Masterpiece sold a breathtaking pair of 28-carat earrings for an impressive sum of US$1.68 million, setting a new benchmark for luxurious acquisitions at SIJE. Moving forward, the management of SIJE will be in the capable hands of the IEG event team, ensuring the continuation of the event’s exceptional showcases.
Iniskim International is proud to have attended and participated in this year’s SIJE to showcase our passion for Ammolite stones. We are deeply grateful for the experiences shared, the relationships forged, and the cherished memories we’ve made. Looking ahead, we are eager to continue our Ammolite journey on a global scale and to provide only authentic, certified, and ethically-sourced Ammolite.