The team recently went to the Vicenza fair in Italy which is one of the leading Jewellery Events in the world!
Gem buyer, Doug shares his story of what they found…
"7am and I'm woken by the bells from Piazza San Marco, as wake up calls go this has to be among the best in the world. A quick breakfast to fuel up for the day and we're off toward the Rialto Bridge to catch the water bus – my London commute has nothing on Venice.
We then head across the causeway on a train to Vicenza, discussing our appointments and plans for the day. We hear news that some of our colleagues had to cancel their trip to Italy due to the poor weather conditions back in the UK, but we were fortunate enough not to be delayed too badly, and Italy is enjoying unseasonably mild weather.
A short bus ride from the train station and we arrive at the fair right on schedule. We make our separate ways to our appointments – my first is with one of our specialist gemstone vendors, who present me with some of their latest discoveries.
By far my favourite is the Yowah Opal ring – I've read about this stone many times but never seen one in the flesh until now, and it doesn't disappoint. I bumped into a colleague from QVC Italy and we share news over a quick capuccino before we head off through the halls to our next meetings.
Next is one of our major Far Eastern manufacturers where I review and sign off special packaging for a new show launching in April. They also show me an incredible piece created by one of their talented designers – once a year they allow their designers total creative freedom to showcase their skill, and I convince them to allow us to offer one of these amazing designs to our viewers.
On to one of our Italian artisans from Arezzo, where we discuss technological developments in gold production. Necessity being the mother of invention, due to the increase in material costs over the last few years there are some really innovative techniques coming out of this part of the world at the moment, and I seize the opportunity to learn as much as I can so that I can share this new information with our presenters.
My next appointment is with a New York based manufacturer suggested by our friends at Honora – with thousands of suppliers exhibiting it can sometimes be overwhelming trying to work out who best to meet, so a recommendation is always appreciated.
I discover another New York designer next, featuring the up to the minute styling incorporating flat cut gemstones and irregular shapes that I recognise from visiting the 5th Avenue department stores and boutique jewellers in my travels to the US, so we exchange business cards and I make a mental note to follow up on my return to the office.
Finally a meeting with a very well known company that we will be launching in the coming months that must remain nameless for now – we agree upon a show title and run through our agenda including securing supporting video footage, packaging, running through the types of questions that our viewers would want to know about etc. This project has been running for over a year and we are in the final stages of preparation – the meeting is a great success and my day is done.
We make our return journey to Venice, and have a lucky find with a little back street restaurant where we enjoy great Italian food as we share stories of our day. We then finish off the day with a nightcap at Harry's Bar – famous home of the Bellini.
We note that Dale wouldn't look out of place among the bartenders dressed in white dinner jackets and bow ties – even at this time of night QVC is still on our minds!
We made our way back to the hotel to get some well earned rest for the day ahead".
Tune in on Tuesday at 8pm for Destination Gems with Charlie to see these luxury pieces direct from this most important Italian Jewellery fair, all on Advanced Order.