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Singapore: The fastest growing emerging gem and jewellery market

08 february 2016

The Singapore jewellery market is as mixed as the population in the country. The middle class consumers regularly purchase medium priced products from regular stores as well as through platforms like home-shopping via the television marketing. An indication that demands for gems and jewelry are still quite high. In volume, the mid-range consumers are much bigger than the high end jewellery buyers. This section reveals a massive opportunity for large-scale market expansion. Besides, these consumers look for investing values in the jewellery.

In the next five years, Singaporean jewellery market is expected to increase by 3% annually. With the 0% custom and import duty, the country’s jewellery market has grown rapidly in the past decade. The market is worth approximately $3.5 billion, with 26% of the jewellery sold containing diamonds. In the last 6 years, approximately 0.18 million carats of polished diamonds valued at $ 315 million were exported to Singapore from Antwerp. The top-end jewellery consumers have enough knowledge about the products, which makes them ready buyers as they are well informed and this segment will remain strong and consistent. However, the mid-range customers will contribute maximum to the overall sales as they are in the majority.

Hong Kong is the main competitor for Singapore for the high-end gemstone and jewellery market. But, of late most luxury brands move their exhibitions to Singapore, reflecting the potential of this emerging market. The country has also become a leading place for high-stake auctions in recent times. Though the Singapore gem and jewelry market abounds in challenges, the opportunities available are many more for businesses to grow and thrive. On the whole, the country’s progress in this field promises to further strengthen Asia as a region in the emerging competitive manufacturing and trading jewellery markets.

Studies show that jewellery witnessed slower current value growth in 2015 than in year 2014. Soft economic conditions globally and in Singapore reduced consumers’ confidence to spend, thus impeding value growth in jewellery. Young and fashion conscious consumers were also less willing to spend on expensive jewellery, as they constantly move on to new pieces every season to be trendy, and just want multiple pieces to match their different outfits.

Jewellery sector in Singapore is expected to see a positive value growth over the forecast period. Projected improvements in global and Singaporean economic conditions will raise local consumers’ disposable incomes and increase their willingness to spend on jewellery. Sophisticated and mid to high income consumers will continue to trade up to luxury jewellery pieces that can reflect their status, especially those statement and classic designs that can be easily recognized.

One can surely say that Singapore’s gems and jewelry industry is home to the illustrious world of precious jewels and exotic ornaments. The jewellery manufactured in the country is known globally for portraying outstanding tapestry and remarkable craftsmanship. Varieties of jewellery are produced here, which caters to the traditional as well as to the latest style and fashion sectors. Singapore artisans has been eulogized worldwide for their skill in bringing out the brilliance of color and the creativity with which the gems and jewellery are crafted in the jewellery pieces. The Singapore gems and jewelry industry has a bright future due to the growing demand in the international market for its products in recent years. With the application of new resources and technology, Singapore’s Gems and jewelry industry is all geared to become one of the fastest growing emerging markets. Today, the gem & jewellery sector contributes more than $1.1 billion to Singapore's economy. 

Singapore is famous for its glittering gold wares, including exotic pieces of necklaces and pendants of different shapes and patterns. Chains are also popular here with the herring bone chains, wheat chains, anchor chains, stylish Lariat necklaces and a whole lot of other designs in chains are readily available in Singapore for the gold lovers.

Precious and semi-precious coloured stones have a good market in the country with demand increasing by the day. The semi-precious stone market is especially growing in leaps and bounds due to the growing demand by the younger generation. Fashion conscious youngsters have been the reason for this sector’s success. Pendants, rings and earrings studded with precious gemstones like sapphires, rubies, emeralds, pearls etc., are a range in the country.

Many manufacturers in the country offer exhaustive collection of diamond jewellery ranging from dazzling necklaces, diamond chokers, diamond earrings, diamond studded bangles and stunning engagement rings set in gold diamonds and gemstones combined to create a timeless style. Entry level diamond studded jewellery too has an enormous market which is showing signs of enormous growing in the future. With designs in gold, white gold, diamond jewellery come in a wide range of designs like the drop earrings, star earrings and beaded earrings.

Some of the main players in the jewellery market are Aspial Corporation, a  jewellery corporation with a chain of boutiques; Lee Hwa Jewellery, founded in 1970, is one of Asia's leading contemporary fine jeweller based in Singapore; Goldheart Jewellery, founded in 1974 and was acquired by Aspial in 2005; CITIGEMS, known for its cutting-edge innovation and style infused with urbane sophistication; Soo Kee Jewellery Pte Ltd, with 20 years tradition of passion and heritage of craftsmanship ; Poh Heng Jewellery, established in 1948, with its 13 outlets island-wide, is now a member of Quality Jewellers of Singapore and voted three times as Asia’s top luxury brand… and among many others.

As in most emerging markets, the online jewellery market in Singapore is just beginning to open up. Being at a nascent stage at present,very few players are offering jewellery online. However, Singapore is an ideal location for online jewellery business due to its robust e-commerce market. In addition, cross border sales in the country provides multiple opportunities for online retailers operating in the country.

Currently, Singapore’s two main jewellery fairs are becoming increasingly popular with the global jewellery industry…the Singapore International Jewellery Expo (SIJE) and Singapore Jewellery & Gem Fair (SJGF). SIJE is Singapore's largest international jewelry extravaganza, where there is opportunity for tapping into Asia's fast developing jewelry market. SJGF is the largest fine jewellery event in Singapore and the region, where jewelers converge to source for a dazzling collection of exquisite jewellery and gemstones.

Aruna Gaitonde, Editor-in-Chief of Asian Bureau, Rough & Polished