by Jared Heng
Singapore International Jewellery Show (SIJS) 2011 showcases more than US$100 million worth of jewellery, including several rare gemstones, each with a price exceeding S$1 million.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of SIJS on Wednesday, Chan Chun Sing, Minister of State for Information, Communications and the Arts, noted that Singapore’s jewellery sector has contributed S$4.5 billion in operating receipts and S$354 million in value-added.
Mr Chan, who graced the event as Guest of Honour, said the government is “committed to supporting enterprises to better understand the value of design and adopt design as a strategic differentiator.”
For example, enterprises can tap on a tax incentive in the form of the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) for investments in design.
Jewellery companies such as Aspial-Lee Hwa Jewellery and SK Jewellery have tapped on the PIC to conduct design research and develop innovative new collections.
Ho Nai Chuen, President of the Singapore Jewellers Association, noted that strong GDP growth of most major economies spurred a renewed interest in luxury items last year.
“This trend for all things beautiful continues. SIJS 2011 acknowledges the optimistic outlook and will showcase some of the most beautifully-designed collections from jewellers around the world,” he said.
In particular, the show boasts a rare 92-carat sapphire that turns blue violet in daylight and light purple under incandescent light as its most spectacular showpiece, worth about S$2.18 million.
Another attraction is a life-sized bejewelled horse created by world-renowned artist Roberto Spagnolo. The horse is made up of 518,300 carats of various gemstones, such as black diamonds from Australia, eye of the tiger from South Africa, and yellow calcite from Mexico.
The theme of this year’s show is ‘The Elements’ of Mother Earth, with featured jewellery designs drawing inspiration from earth, wind, fire, metal and water.
On Cheong, a major exhibitor at the show, showcased several attractive jewellery pieces, such as its Ice Jade necklace worth S$200,000.
Mr Chan also gave out the Singapore Jewellery Design Award to various students for their award-winning designs during the opening ceremony.
Singapore’s Silvia Tjahyadi from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and Hong Kong’s Lo Lai Man from Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Lee Wai Lee) each won the award under the men’s jewellery category.
Tjahyadi bagged another award under the ‘Women’s jewellery with kinetic movement’ category. Anya Almira A., also from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, was the other winner under this category.
Lam Hoi Kiu and Lam Wai Yan (Rachel), both from Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Lee Wai Lee), each won the award under the multi-function jewellery category.
Running from July 27 to 31 at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, SIJS 2011 is expected to attract some 15,000 visitors.