Precious jewellery lends shine to gem expo

A rare 950-carat Burmese ruby, considered one of the largest of its kind, is on display at Singapore International Jewelry Expo 2015.
A rare 950-carat Burmese ruby, considered one of the largest of its kind, is on display at Singapore International Jewelry Expo 2015.PHOTO: DEGEM

At the Singapore International Jewelry Expo 2015, which starts today, more than US$150 million (S$202.8 million) worth of jewellery, gemstones and watches will be vying for the attention of visitors.

But the star of the show is an exceptionally rare 950-carat Burmese ruby. Considered one of the largest of its kind, the stone was found in the Mogok Valley in north-eastern Myanmar, which has been the world's main source of rubies for centuries.

Presented by Malaysian jeweller DeGem, the uncut ruby, which is not for sale, is completely natural and free from any kind of artificial heat treatment to alter its appearance.

Burmese rubies fetch some of the highest prices in the gem-trading world because of their quality. In May this year, a 25.59-carat Burmese ruby ring sold for US$30.3 million at a Sotheby's auction in Geneva, setting a new world record for the sale of a coloured gemstone at an auction.

The four-day expo, which is into its fourth year, is the country's biggest jewellery and gem show, and takes up 8,000 sq ft at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre. Last year, it drew 12,000 to 13,000 people, and 15,000 visitors are expected this year.

Organised by Conference and Exhibition Managing Services, the fair will showcase exquisite yet affordable jewellery crafted by jewellers from countries like Italy and Hong Kong.

But visitors will also get to feast their eyes on particularly rare pieces, such as the Burmese ruby.

Apart from the ruby, DeGem will showcase the Pinnacle of the Ocean, a 38-carat unheated Burmese sapphire worth US$2 million. Local jeweller KGK Diamonds will display a 9.47-carat Fancy Yellow Diamond worth US$700,000.

Other highlights include The Million Dollar Row by local jeweller IVY Masterpiece, which features pieces with prices starting from US$1.5 million. The company's founder, Ms Ivy Choa, will give talks on topics such as gemstone investment.

There is also a Designer Pavilion, featuring works from award-winning craftsmen from Hong Kong and Japan registered with the Hong Kong International Jewelry Designer Association.

Visitors can enjoy fashion shows, with models showing off the fine pieces.

Admission to the expo is free. It opens at 11.30am, and closes at 8.30pm on the first three days, and at 7pm on Sunday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 02, 2015, with the headline 'Precious jewellery lends shine to gem expo'. Print Edition | Subscribe