Industry Experts Will Discuss Sapphire Appraising System
Last week marked the grand opening of the 10th annual Changle International Gem Festival at the city’s Sports Park. Located in the wealthier eastern province of Shandong, Changle (a small county on a the outskirts of Weifang city) is known both in China and abroad for its sapphires, which have, for the last decade, attracted businesspeople from around the world to its Gem Festival. Changle currently boasts China’s largest specialized wholesale market for trading gemstones, platinum and palladium, and over the past ten years has streamlined its supply chain to speed through everything from gem mining to wholesaling. As of this year, more than 50,000 Changle residents work in the gem industry, and the city is home to more than 2,000 companies that process tens of millions of sapphires and hundreds of millions of jewelry pieces annually.
Promoting the theme of “Fashion, Charm and Happiness,” the 2011 Changle Gem Festival will see experts from fields such as jewelry, geology and patented technology join an industrial summit about China’s sapphire appraising system, discussing the development of sapphire industry standards in China. Related activities, including the 2011 Jewelry Exhibition and Sales Expo, China Animation Culture Industry Development Summit, Fine Sapphire Appraisement and Carving Competition, and other entertainment activities related to gem culture, will be held simultaneously.
According to Xinhua, with sapphire jewelry gaining more consumer awareness in China, the prices of sapphire has increased thousands of times over the past 20 years (translation by Jing Daily team):
As the main production and processing area for sapphire in China, Changle’s leading role in the development of sapphire industry standards will not only help the health of industry growth, but also help promote the appraising system overseas, boosting the development of China jewelry industry in the international market.
Last year, Jing Daily noted that the rapidly rising price of high-quality jade, as well as the booming demand for jade, in China might make the use of the traditional green stone more popular among home-grown jewelry brands like Qeelin or Zhaoyi. If the sapphire apprising system can, as festival organizers hope, be placed more prominently on the country’s business agenda, we could expect to see the domestic Chinese sapphire market become more consolidated and stimulated, and jewelry brands that use more domestically sourced sapphire could gain more awareness among consumers in China and overseas before we know it.