Why the journey of VicenzaOro is one to watch!

| Esther Ligthart | News & Stories

In the heart of Italy, VicenzaOro has become my biannual pilgrimage—a journey that intertwines my past with the present, revealing the evolving face of a trade show that has filled the void left by BaselWorld. It's more than just a fair; it's a testament to the enduring allure of jewelry, a realm where creativity and business converge, constantly reinventing itself and pushing towards a promising horizon. Here's a glimpse into my personal odyssey with VicenzaOro, a show that's not just breaking records on its 70th anniversary but capturing hearts.


A Journey Back in Time:

My first encounter with VicenzaOro was in 1994, when I moved to the Italian city of Valenza, far from the bulb fields from Alkmaar, above Amsterdam. Back then, the show was an eye-opener—a vast expanse of innovation and tradition that seemed worlds apart from my rural upbringing.  

Over the years, my roles at the show have evolved—from a buyer hunting for unique pieces to a salesperson behind the booths, and finally, to a blogger navigating the intricacies of the press. Each experience has offered a unique perspective on the show's growth and its pivotal role in the jewelry industry.  

The VicenzaOro Experience:

Arriving in ripped jeans straight from an early morning flight, I was reminded of the show's magnetic pull. The excitement of stepping into the fair feeling the pulse of creativity and craftsmanship, is unmatched. It's a place where every visit is a blend of nostalgia and discovery.  

The show's transformation over the years mirrors the industry's shifts—from a male-dominated space with a strict dress code to a more inclusive and dynamic arena. Once relegated to the background or objectified, women now stand at the forefront, shaping trends and making decisions.

Why VicenzaOro Shines:

VicenzaOro's magic lies in its ability to adapt and thrive. It's a hub where past and future collide, offering a glimpse into the ever-changing jewelry world. From its humble beginnings to the dazzling heights it reaches today, the show has become a beacon for professionals and enthusiasts alike.  

The record-breaking attendance and diversity of brands on its 70th birthday underscore the show's global appeal and its significance in filling the gap left by BaselWorld. It's a platform where innovation meets tradition, fostering connections that span continents and cultures.

VicenzaOro is not just a trade show; it's a part of my journey, a chapter in my love affair with jewelry. It reflects my growth within this glittering industry and symbolizes the endless possibilities that await. Here, amidst the sparkle and the spectacle, I've found a sense of belonging and a vision of the future that keeps drawing me back, year after year.

Preserving to Evolve: The Essence of Italian Craftsmanship

Trendvision's Insight: Art director Paola De Luca emphasized luxury as a catalyst for social change, not mere opulence, during the opening of Vicenzaoro's second day.

Iconic Voices:

  • Mariella Milani: Advocated for authenticity and genuine connections in an era of misinformation, stressing the timeless message over transient endorsements.
  • Lucia Silvestri: Shared her journey from a temporary role to Bulgari's creative director, highlighting the emotional bond with gems and the importance of teamwork and legacy.
  • Alessia Crivelli & Amedeo Scognamiglio: Illustrated the generational shift in the jewelry industry, from collaboration for common goals to reinventing traditional motifs for modern narratives.

I loved this presentation! It was a genuine tale of these leaders in the jewelry industry. Paola de Luca, once again, applied her magic and put together these amazing people, inspiring us in the audience. You should try to see this presentation on VicenzaOro’s YouTube channel!

Interesting facts and numbers

  • Celebrating 70 years with the nickname "VO 70."
  • Showcased over 1300 brands.
  • Welcomed visitors from 141 countries, up from 136 in 2023.
  • Saw a 3% increase in overall attendance compared to last year.
  • Breakdown of attendees: 53% from Europe, 9.3% from the Middle East, 10.5% from Asia, 8% from Turkey, 7.2% from North America, 5.1% from Latin America, and 4.9% from Africa.
  • The top attending countries included the USA and Turkey.
  • High attendance from European countries like Spain, Germany, France, Greece, and the UK.
  • Significant presence from Middle Eastern countries, particularly the United Arab Emirates, and Asian countries such as India, China, Japan, Thailand, and Hong Kong.
  • A remarkable increase in Chinese visitors, up 188% from 2023, attributed mainly to the easing of Covid-related travel restrictions.
  • Notable attendance increases from other countries: Japan (+44%), Colombia (+38%), Brazil (+36%), and France (+25%).
  • First-time visitors from Tanzania, El Salvador, and Honduras in 2024.

  • Educational Support:  

  •   - Vicenzaoro hosted 750 students from 23 schools during its January 2024 event.
  •   - Students hailed from Italy, France, Germany, and the UK.
  •   - The VIOFF program, part of Vicenza city's events, saw over 490 students engaging in 20 jewelry-related programs, fostering      education and involvement in the jewelry industry's future.

  "The Vicenza Symposium"

IEG is set to launch "The Vicenza Symposium," a new biennial event, during the September 2025 Vicenzaoro. In collaboration with the T.Gold jewelry technology show and manufacturers Legor and Xolutions, this initiative draws inspiration from the Santa Fe Symposium. It aims to strengthen the global jewelry industry through metallurgical seminars, presentations, and scientific programs.

A recap of the Retail Talk: Navigating the Sparkle of Lab-Grown and Natural Diamonds

- Consumer Awareness: A study for Federpreziosi revealed that 85% of consumers learned about lab-grown diamonds from jewelers and experts (42.2%) or online (38.5%). Yet, 80% still prefer natural diamonds for their enduring value, rarity, and uniqueness.

- Growing Interest in Lab-Grown Diamonds: Interest in these eco-friendly alternatives is rising, tracing back to their inception in 1954—the same year Vicenza Gold and Jewellery Show debuted.

- The Jeweler's Role: Experts, including jewelers, play a crucial role in guiding consumers, emphasizing the importance of professional expertise in distinguishing between natural and lab-grown stones. Discussions on ethics and sustainability further highlight the jeweler's pivotal position in consumer education.

- Expert Panel: The debate featured insights from Pierluigi Ascani of Format Research, Loredana Prosperi from the Italian Gemological Institute, and industry leaders like Federpreziosi president Stefano Andreis and gemmologist Davide Bolzoni, moderated by Federpreziosi director Steven Tranquilli.

The conversation around lab-grown diamonds, is far from over. Their emergence has sent ripples through the entire jewelry supply chain, sparking various reactions from industry players. Amid efforts to dismiss or undermine the rising popularity of lab-grown diamonds, it's crucial to cut through the noise and focus on what truly matters—the consumer. 

Transparency and honesty are paramount. It's our responsibility to ensure that discussions about lab-grown diamonds are clear and straightforward. Consumers deserve to understand the distinctions between natural and lab-grown diamonds, including what these differences mean and how they impact pricing. 

Witnessing our trade organizations stepping up to prioritize education and information is encouraging. This commitment to raising awareness supports informed decision-making and underscores our industry's dedication to integrity and consumer trust.

The following 70 years: 

Significant Investment by IEG: 60 million euros allocated for a new exhibition hall.

  • Expansion Details: The new space will cover 22,000 square meters (approximately 236,806 square feet), replacing Halls 2 and 5 at the fair.
  • Benefits: The expansion aims to provide additional space for exhibitors and improve the overall experience for attendees by enhancing navigability.
  • Timeline: Construction is set to begin shortly, with completion targeted for the Vicenzaoro September 2026 edition.

In just two years, VicenzaOro will transform by constructing a new, modern building, boosting the show's capacity by 20%. This period is set to present a significant logistical challenge. The crowds lining up to enter the show were unprecedented, highlighting parking difficulties that will likely intensify over the next. 24 months. This is mainly due to the temporary structures, set to replace the old ones, occupying two adjacent parking lots.

However, there's light at the end of the tunnel. A high-speed train station will be inaugurated right behind the showground in four years, significantly easing access. Until then, I highly recommend opting for train travel and the complimentary shuttle services over struggling to find parking at the show. Trust me; you'll be grateful for this advice!

The future of VicenzaOro looks incredibly bright. The show's relentless pursuit of excellence is accelerating, with changes becoming rapidly evident and impactful. Kudos to Marco Carniello and the GoldenTeam at IEG for their phenomenal work. Their vision and dedication are truly inspiring.

The affection and respect for VicenzaOro among my peers and the show's nurturing relationship with journalists and bloggers have been heartwarming. Our voices are valued and appreciated!

Over three decades, both my life and VicenzaOro have evolved tremendously. The latter is no longer just a key player in Europe but is making significant strides on the global stage. Mark my words; the journey of VicenzaOro is one to watch.


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