Seventh ADTF Holds Its Own in Cautious Market, Say Organizers

Finance and Trade

Despite low expectations among exhibitors at the seventh edition of the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair (ADTF) following reports of a slow holiday sales season for European retail jewelers and diamond distributors, the overall mood "was distinctly upbeat', said the organizers of the January 31-February 2 trade show. The three-day fair is jointly organized by the Antwerp Diamond Bourse (Beurs voor Diamanthandel), the Diamond Club of Antwerp (Diamantclub van Antwerpen) and Antwerp's Rough Diamond Bourse (Antwerpsche Diamantkring) and held in the halls of the Bourse and the Club. "We were here for all three days, spent a lot of time in the halls, viewing lots of goods, holding extended negotiations about the choice of diamonds we had selected. It was not easy, but we did some very serious business here," said Albert M., a Middle Eastern diamond buyer in a statement released by the fair's organizing committee. "Of course, Antwerp remains the number one source for diamonds. If you do not find what you are looking for here, trust me, you will not find it anywhere else." Meanwhile, a British jeweler was cited as saying that the visit to ADTF "opened a lot of doors for us" and commented that the selection of goods on show was diverse.

In addition to diamonds, precious colored gemstones, including emeralds, rubies and sapphires, was on offer. "Antwerp has a lot to offer in the top quality rangers of colored gemstones," said Oded Shapiro. "While we were only a few at this edition of the ADTF, we did have a lot to offer to buyers on the high end scale.
ADTF Organizing Committee spokesman Michel Schonfeld said, "Fairs are often less about sales, and more about 'maintenance.' With lots of new buyers coming in and a loyal, ever growing body of retail jewelers and distributors coming back year after year, we have built strong and lasting business relationships that produce sales throughout the year. By meeting both new and existing clients, by offering them some good entertainment and interesting educational seminars, we strengthen and prolong our association with them. It is a good investment on the ADTF's exhibitors' part," he explained. He added that the format of the ADTF remained a successful and effective business model. "There is nothing like bringing buyers to the Antwerp Diamond District, opening the bourses' doors and welcoming - carefully screened and promising - diamond buyers. The welcome they get during the ADTF is unprecedented, and creates loyal customers of Antwerp's diamond business community."
The Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair is powered by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC)