Pricey baubles sparkle at COEXA 200-carat sapphire ore from Thailand, the biggest topaz ore in the world and a platinum-thread woven dress are just some of the precious items found at the Korea International Jewelry & Watch Fair 2004, which began yesterday at the COEX center in southern Seoul and will continue until Sunday.
More than 300 companies from 22 countries are displaying jewelry made with diamonds, rubies, sapphires and pearls, as well as watches and jewelry-processing tools and equipment.
Among the notable items on display are three-stone diamond jewelry from Tasaki Shinju of Japan; jewelry chains in gold, silver, platinum and steel from Eugen Schofer of Germany; diamond jewelry from Samuel Rozenbaum of Israel, and wedding bands in gold and other precious stones from Kumgkang Jewelry of Korea.
Other baubles include a platinum flute, guitar and rabbit doll from Japan, and a rare pearl found in abalone in Korea.
Pearls are rarely found in abalone, and the one on display, owned by Korean Pearl Laboratory, is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Some of the companies present at the exhibition include Golden Dew, Angevin, PJ Jewelry, Kreis Jewelry and Core Jewelry from Korea, Tasaki Shinju from Japan, and Blumer from Germany.
Jewelry on display is available for sale, and the Korea Customs Service has set up a temporary office at COEX to expedite the customs process for buyers.
Thirteen seminar sessions are scheduled, including one by an Italian jewelry designer, Massimo Zucchi, who makes jewelry and watches for Escada and Rolex brands. Mr. Zucchi used to work for major jewelry companies such as Bulgari.
Two 90-minute seminars on trends in the global jewelry market are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. today in room 310. Only Korean interpretation will be provided.
The exhibition is part of a government initiative to expand the jewelry trade. Next year, it plans to abolish a special consumption tax on jewelry.
Today, the exhibition is aimed at commercial visitors, but the exhibition’s organizer said it would still be open to the public.
The exhibition starts at 10:30 a.m. and continues until 7 p.m., but closes at 5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are 10,000 won ($8.70).
The COEX center can be reached by getting off at Samseong Station on subway line No. 2. For more information, call (02) 6000-5314 or log onto the Web site, www.jewelfair.com.
by Limb Jae-un