The invitation-only Centurion Show ended its three-day run at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix on January 31, and most exhibitors were pleased with the business they did and the contacts they made. Completing its 23rd year, the show attracts many longtime exhibitors and luxury retail jewelers, but some new companies also joined the fold.
Among the show regulars, Lisa Nik — who specializes in refined, casual colored-gemstone jewels —reported she had plenty of appointments and met new people.
“The economy is still good, and a lot of people have been coming by,” Nik said on the show’s second day.
There was demand for her one-of-a-kind pieces, her Rainbow collection of multicolored gem-set jewels, and her studs that can be worn on the front and back of ears, she noted. Retailers were also buying the types of jewels that can be layered and sold as add-ons because of their more accessible prices.
Sweta Jain, founder of colored gemstone brand Goshwara, had a crowded booth throughout the show.
“People are going for a lot of simple items and birthstones,” she said, adding that “emeralds are always number one.”
GCAL by Sarine used the show to introduce its proprietary 8X diamond grade that has been expanded to marquise and pear-shaped diamonds. For the first time in years, fancy shapes are outselling round diamonds and the new 8X grades are in demand from its clients, explained Steve Feldman of GCAL.
Diamond jewelry brand Tacori opted to present its products at one of the “cottages” that were scattered around the Biltmore resort grounds. The comfortable indoor-outdoor setting was a draw for many buyers. Late on the second day, there were conversations with retailers throughout the space. The company showcased several new collections, including its Lunetta engagement rings and wedding bands, and Classic RoyalT, its most diamond-intense fine-jewelry line.
The Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) had a significant presence at Centurion, hosting a panel discussion on hiring new talent and sponsoring two new jewelry designers, Renata Cambauva and Sardwell, under its Jewelry Loupe project.
Cambauva, a Brazilian native, founded Hey Babe LA, which combines fine-jewelry design with a spiritual component using colored gemstones and minerals. The idea is not only to create a popular fine-jewelry brand but to curate a creative community. The collection was founded on the Tree of Life of the Kabbalah and Sacred Geometry. The sustainably sourced gemstones are set in 14-karat gold.
Renisis is a designer jewelry brand founded by Sardwell (who professionally goes by a single name). She had a career designing theatrical stage sets in South America and China before returning to the US and turning to jewelry. Her large shapely metallic jewels combine her passion for sculpture and theater, she said.
There were a few companies exhibiting for the first time, mostly from Italy. IFE Lux Group, which represents several Italian brands, was at the show for the first time in 10 years, on behalf of jewelry brands Baraka and Chimento. Baraka is a men’s jewelry line, which this year launched its first women’s collection. IFE founders Anna Zordan and Dario Pastorelli used Centurion to introduce the collection to the North American market. Participants received the line positively, Pastorelli observed on the first day.
Capri-based jeweler Chantecler was at the show for the first time, and its booth attracted a lot of curious retailers. It featured several of its high jewels, including a large blue titanium starfish necklace paved with diamonds and two Liberty Bells, one topped with diamonds in honor of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who was a customer at the brand’s flagship boutique in Capri, and the other in honor of former president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, after the US military’s success during World War II.
Contemporary high design brand Vhernier, which has exhibited at Centurion for a few years, was showcasing aluminum-made jewels, crafted in its signature geometric stylings. “We have the right appointments, and we are seeing a lot of old friends,” a representative at the booth said. “We’re pretty exclusive.”
Another returning Italian brand was Misani Milano, which had its stand among a group of small designer jewelers. The company displayed a broad range of well-designed and crafted jewels, including 18-karat gold textured chains, an 18-karat yellow gold ring topped with a baroque pearl, and an oval-shaped 18-karat gold ring paved with diamonds.
Piero Milano was displaying its Rialto 18-karat gold collection, named after the famed bridge in Venice. Being the first show of the year in the US, Centurion is a good place to gauge the strength of the country’s economy, said the company’s owner, Andrea Milano. However, on the first day of the show, it was too early to tell, he added.
Main image: Jewelry by Renata Cambauva. (Centurion)