Shenzhen: The Frontier of China’s Gem and Jewelry Industry…

It is hard to believe the tremendous changes that have taken Shenzhen from a provincial fishing village to a world class economic and business zone. This has taken more nearly four decades and along the way a thriving gem and jewelry industry has grown and taken real root. Jewelry designs abound throughout the region, gem and jewelry manufacturing have found a long term market there. GIA has taken notice and started keeping the demographics up to date.

There are now thousands of jewelry and gem dealers registered and it is expanding still. As one who is into the jewelry industry for these same decades has watched this phenomenon take shape. To see these humble beginnings grow into a world class destination for jewelry manufacturing and sales is an amazing journey to behold.

The reforms that began in the 1980’s and were furthered along in the early 2000’s has taken this village to the top of the jewelry world.


ShenzhenOver the past 35 years, Shenzhen has transformed from an extremely poor fishing village to one of the most economically developed cities in China, witnessing countless advances along the way. In May of 1980, the city was designated one of China’s first special economic zones, acting as a cradle for many start-ups. Today, it is China’s biggest jewelry manufacturing and trading hub.

Over the years, Shenzhen has been at the forefront of pioneering trade reform. The “China Jewelry Index” (CJI) was initiated, born, and maintained in Shenzhen. It was launched in October, 2014, after three years of preparation. The Index, like Rapaport’s diamond report, was the first national-level database to provide comprehensive information on China’s gem and jewelry industry. Considered a milestone of business development, CJI is fully supported by the local Shenzhen government, with intellectual support from the Gem and Jewelry Trade Association of China.

The city’s GDP rose from 1.96 million Chinese renminbi (RMB) in 1979 to 1,600.20 billion RMB (US $267 billion) in 2013. The growth rate in Gross Domestic Product was 8.8 percent from 2013 to 2014, which was higher than the overall growth rate for all of China. This fast growth attracted new migrants from all over the country and the world. The permanent population grew from 30,000 in the early 1980s to about 18 million today. Its demographic consists of 99 percent migrants, although the exact population has never been consistent or easy to count. READ MORE…

About Rob

I have been designing military coins and jewelry for nearly 40 years now.