Reflecting the growing role innovation plays in the jewellery and gemstone industry, the sixth JNA Awards pay tribute to a record number of companies that have melded technology and creativity to deploy game-changing processes into their business.
Aiming to promote and uphold excellence in innovation, creativity, leadership, sustainability and best business practices with a focus on initiatives that have a positive impact on Asia’s jewellery and gemstone sector, the awards will be presented at a gala celebration at the InterContinental Hong Kong on Thursday.
A record eight finalists are lining up in the Industry Innovation of the Year category – 3D Jewellery, Tai Fook Jewellery Group, Gubelin Gem Lab, Shenzhen Lingchengben Technology, Shenzhen Perfect Love Diamond, Shenzhen Sunfeel Jewelry, Voguegold Jewellery and Zhejiang Angeperle.
“Innovation remains at the forefront of the jewellery industry as companies rethink their long-term strategies to get ahead and stay relevant,” says JNA Awards chairperson Letitia Chow. The founder of JNA, she is also director of jewellery business development at UBM Asia. “The impact of innovation is evident in various aspects of their businesses, including production, marketing, supply-chain management, gem and metal technologies, product development and business strategies.”
For the first time, the Lifetime Achievement Award goes to two leaders – Firmin Robert Wan of Tahiti and Jacques Pol Branellec of Jewelmer, from the Philippines.
“They are visionaries who are passionate about what they do, and who constantly challenge themselves to tread unknown paths in pursuit of their dreams,” says Chow. “They overcame natural and manmade obstacles, both the expected and unexpected. Through sheer drive and determination, they have succeeded in accomplishing groundbreaking developments in the cultivation of Tahitian pearls and golden South Sea pearls, respectively.
“While growing their enterprises into branded and thriving businesses, they have also transformed how these beautiful natural gems are perceived, admired and treasured.”
This year’s independent judging panel comprises industry experts Albert Cheng, adviser to the World Gold Council, Far East; James Courage, former CEO of Platinum Guild International and former chairman of the Responsible Jewellery Council; Lin Qiang, president and MD of the Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE); Nirupa Bhatt, MD of the Gemological Institute of America in India and the Middle East; Yasukazu Suwa, chairman of Suwa & Son of Japan; and Mark Lee, research director of the Hong Kong-based Asia Pacific Institute for Strategy.
Award supporters include headline partners Chow Tai Fook and SDE, together with honoured partners KGK Group, Rio Tinto, Guangdong Gems & Jade Exchange and Guangdong Land Holdings.
* Picture: A Chow Tai Fook ‘T MARK’ diamond has an inscription that is virtually invisible to the naked eye.