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Turkish Jewelry in the Words of its Key Players

The Istanbul Jewelry Show was the best Fall event ever for the Turkish market with more than 1,000 exhibiting companies and 26,000 traders from 136 countries. Genola, Tekin Seyrekoglu and Zen Diamond talk about it

At the end of an international event, it is fitting to take stock and the Istanbul Jewelry Show, organized by Informa Markets under the sponsorship of Elmas Kule, resulted in authoritative numbers. The 54th edition of IJS, held over four days, was recorded as the largest show in October in terms of number of exhibitors, exhibition area and visitors. Against the backdrop of a growing event, we met with some of the leading players in the Turkish jewelry market to hear their views on the industry's evolution over the past two years, trends and the role of the Istanbul Jewelry Show. According to Serhat Ozliman, Managing Director of Genola, «Jewelry has changed a great deal in the past two years, driven by a major shift in the approach to consumption and a growing focus on sustainability and ethical issues. One trend that has increased considerably is personalized jewelry, which has led to a rise in popularity of handcrafted and custom-made jewelry, as well as eco-friendly and responsible design. There is growing interest in online shopping, but more importantly, the desire for quality is rising. Customers are willing to pay a little more to have a piece of jewelry that is well-made with attention to detail and reflects the highest standards of excellence. This also leads to the creation of new opportunities for traditional techniques and materials, as well as those that explore new technologies.»

Serhat Ozliman, Managing Director of Genola


According to Selin Seyrekoglu Ozaslan from Tekin Seyrekoglu, «Despite the energy crisis and supply chain restrictions due to the Russian-Ukrainian war, exports from Turkey have not decreased. With exports amounting to $6 billion in 2022, demand for gold and silver have increased by 7% while diamonds registered +33%. With this scenario, we have also grown abroad and we believe that the trend for the coming years is going to improve. The Show always acts as a growth opportunity for us with a network of 90% Turkish retailers and 10% Turkish wholesalers. In addition to our main markets, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, North Africa, India and Eurasia, we hope to open up to other European markets soon. We invest heavily in technology while remaining anchored to handcrafted workmanship, thanks always to the artisan spirit of our founder, Tekin Seyrekoğlu. The company was established in 1963 and can currently be found in 650 outlets in Turkey and abroad.»

Tekin Seyrekoglu

Mehmet Diribas of Zen Diamond and Board Member/Shareholder of De Beers Forevermark also sees a very positive market outlook. «Starting from our country, Turkey, it is quite evident that the buying jewelry is a growing trend because it is entering all social classes, increasing in popularity across the board. Shows are welcoming more and more visitors and buyers and this is definitely symptomatic of how the market is going since it now has to respond to a growing demand and new customers. The Istanbul show is our stronghold; it is the event where we are the strongest because those who come here to buy diamonds necessarily pass through us, also due to our three brands: Zen Diamond, Blue Diamond and D Diamond. We have customers from all over the world, especially in Europe and Latin America, the latter facilitated by having an office in New York. These days we notice that customers are looking for larger and more eye-catching pieces, such as wedding sets, necklaces and earrings. In general, the ways and moments to wear an item of jewelry are changing, ranging from daily use to special occasions with requests for pieces whose average price goes from $700 up to $5,000. In terms of sales, Zen Diamond is the Turkish market leader and has been the top export company for the past 10 years. We are extremely flexible in communicating to a very diverse audience and this is also thanks to the relationship of trust and loyalty that we have built over time with customers, as well as, of course, the quality of the product and service offered. And this is what we are also doing in foreign markets. We want to be a World Brand, both for retail and wholesale. Currently we produce 50,000 pieces per month, we have 134 stores including 35 overseas. If we put all three brands together, we come to a retail number of 380 stores,» he says.

Zen diamond1
Zen Diamond

Serhat Ozliman, Managing Director of Genola
continues: «Our experience at the Istanbul Jewelry Show is always extremely positive. It gives us the chance to connect with numerous Turkish buyers and incoming retailers, wholesalers and distributors from other markets interested in the uniqueness of our design and high quality of workmanship, as well as to receive requests for custom pieces. In general, we have increased the number of buyers we usually work with and we are confident that this, as well as other events, can help us increase our business, both in the domestic market and internationally, such as in the U.S. and South America. An important activity we are pursuing is the expansion of our customer base through targeted digital marketing operations and e-commerce initiatives. We think that online still has great potential, so we are investing in successfully expanding our Genola brand. Our future plans are all focused on sustainability, on developing a new eco-friendly line made with environmentally responsible materials and design, and ethical sourcing controls. Overall, we are very optimistic about the future of our company and brand and excited to continue to innovate and grow in an ever-changing jewelry market,» Serat Ozliman concludes.

The recently concluded IJS event welcomed more than 1,000 companies and brands presented to more than 26,000 traders from 136 countries. 40% of visitors were foreign buyers hosted in a luxurious buyers lounge that featured the Kuyum Merkezi model as “testimonial”. Compared to October 2022, IJS recorded a 38% increase in incoming visitors from South America, 31% from North America including the U.S.A., and 10% from Asian countries. The "Art for Jewellery - Inspiration Hub" exhibition, which brought together vintage cars, designs and projects made with artificial intelligence under the name “Timeless Elegance - Sources of Inspiration from Classic to AI,” represented a meeting point between jewelry and art. The exhibition hosted numerous talks including a particularly well-attended one, curated by Melanie Grant, executive director of the Responsible Jewelry Council, and Esther Ligthart, blogger and journalist, on sustainability in the jewelry industry entitled “Why Sustainability is Vital in Jewelry?”, which focused on how to increase brand awareness. The next edition of the Istanbul Jewelry Show will be held from 17th – 20th April 2024.

  • Zen Diamond

    Zen Diamond

  • Tekin Seyrekoglu

    Tekin Seyrekoglu

  • Genola


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