Israel doesn’t have its own diamond mines, nor is the land of milk and honey paved with gold. But what Israel lacks in rare minerals and metals it makes up for in design: Israel’s immigrant diamond dealers helped create a dynamic jewelry industry in Israel.
This summer, visitors to Israel’s 10th edition of Jovella, Israel’s international jewelry and diamond exhibition, will get to see the “gems” of Israel’s jewelry industry.
Some companies are already known internationally, such as Yvel, while young Israeli fashion jewelers will also get their moment to sparkle at the event.
On display will be a little of everything, from rough stones to the highly polished finished product – on July 2-3, 2013, at the Tel Aviv’s Trade Fairs and Convention Center.
Diamonds and stunning gems set in gold are a big draw, but fashion and silver jewelry will also make up some of the 250 exhibits to be shown to the expected 10,000 visitors, says Gil Stier, managing director of the Stier Group, which initiated and manages the annual event.
Jovella is the largest event every year to showcase Israel’s jewelry industry. Designers and manufacturers will be onsite for registered buyers the first day, and on the second day the public is invited.
Machines to process jewels, as well as packaging solutions with pretty bows, will be some of the items on display that will appeal to the local industry.
An international event
The event is a joint collaboration between the Israel Jewelry Manufacturers Association, the Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute, and the Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies.
Not counting diamonds, Israel’s exports of jewelry in 2011 topped $250 million, with people coming from far and wide to see and buy Israeli designs, says Stier, citing the latest figures.
Israel’s main jewelry export markets are the United States, Europe and the Far East. Other countries doing trade with Israel in jewelry include Russia, the UK, Canada, Italy, France and Japan.
“Many of the Israeli designers and manufacturers are looking to export abroad, and this is why we opened our event to an international audience,” says Stier. “What is special about it is the character of Israel and the location -- Israel is an innovative, high-tech country and at the same time a Mediterranean country with diverse ethnicities and a cosmopolitan feel. It’s all these things that make the local design attractive for both the local industry and for foreign buyers.”
Items of Judaica are included. Last year, one exhibitor offered pendants holding nano-sized biblical verses, says Stier. Another put Israeli sand in a jar and incorporated it into a design.
This is another B. Zaban design.
In high-end jewelry, the white gold and diamonds from Halfon Jewelry wholesale boutique will be on display. B. Zaban will be showing a creative collection and Karen Ashkenazi will display her “Jewelry from the Guts,” which is popular on the craft site Etsy. And of course Yvel, a unique company that has a division for training Ethiopian immigrants to make and sell their own line of ethnic pieces.
‘Really unique things from Israel’
As to be expected from the “Startup Nation,” says Stier, “one will find companies using high-tech methods for their designs, but you’ll also see low-tech. You will see less raw stones from Israel and more diamond manufacturers coming to show the final products.
“As for the diamond industry itself, of course Israel is well known, but what you will see in the exhibition is designs with diamonds. We will also have some colored diamonds in the rough.”
Like in past years, Jovella will provide a special booth for young Israeli designers to display original pieces in gold, silver and diamonds.
And who will be buying? “There are Jews from abroad who want to come to the exposition and visit Israel at the same time,” says Stier. “They come to buy local merchandise that they will promote abroad. And this group is mainly from the United States.
“Then you have people from all over Asia and Africa, and they are looking for unique products; they buy not because they are patriotic but because they want to import really unique things from Israel to their countries.”