Industry Veterans Nirupa Bhatt and Vichian Veerasaksri
Join JNA Awards 2013 Judging Panel

HONG KONG, 13 June 2013 – The organiser of the JNA Awards, the most prestigious awards event to recognise and honour excellence and achievement in the jewellery and gemstone trade, is delighted to announce the addition of two industry veterans to the judging panel – Nirupa Bhatt, Managing Director of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in India and the Middle East, and Vichian Veerasaksri, Director of The World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) and Advisor to the Thai Gem and Jewelry Traders Association (TGJTA).
 (From left) Nirupa Bhatt, Managing Director of GIA in India and the Middle East, and Vichian Veerasaksri, Director of The World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) and Advisor to the Thai Gem and Jewelry Traders Association (TGJTA)
Bhatt and Vichian will be joining a panel of industry experts comprising Albert Cheng, Managing Director of the World Gold Council, Far East (WGC); James Courage, Chief Executive Officer of Platinum Guild International (PGI) and Lin Qiang, President and Managing Director of the Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE).

The second edition of the JNA Awards is led by Rio Tinto Diamonds and Chow Tai Fook as Headline Partners, with Gubelin, Israel Diamond Institute, KARP Group, Robert Wan Tahiti and the SDE as Honoured Partners.

“We are delighted to welcome two more accomplished business leaders from the industry as judges to the JNA Awards 2013,” said Letitia Chow, founder of JNA and Director of Business Development – Jewellery Group at UBM Asia.

Nirupa Bhatt, Managing Director of GIA in India and the Middle East, commented, “The JNA Awards is a prestigious event in the jewellery world. We are pleased to see such high interest and response from the industry.” Bhatt has taken GIA services to over 40 locations in India, the Middle East and Turkey. She has received several global honours for her contributions to the gemstone and jewellery industry. Bhatt is a member of the Board of Directors of the All India Gem and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) and Gem and Jewellery Skill Council of India (GJSCI). She is also an invitee to the marketing committee of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).

“It is an honour to join a judging panel composed of esteemed industry experts for the JNA Awards 2013. This is an important occasion in the jewellery and gemstone industry, and we are seeing many high-quality entries from all over the world,” added Vichian Veerasaksri, Director of CIBJO and Advisor to TGJTA. Vichian served as Director and Secretary General of TGJTA; Director and Secretary General of the International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA) and Chairman of ICA Congress Thailand in 1987 and 2005; President of CIBJO Colored Stone Commission from 2004 to 2011 and Chairman of CIBJO Congress Thailand in 2004.

The JNA Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner will be held on 12 September 2013, Thursday, at The Grand Hyatt, Hong Kong. Tickets to the ceremony and gala dinner are now on sale.  For ticket sales, visit

Notes for Editors:

1 About the JNA Awards

Organised by JNA of UBM Asia, the JNA Awards is an industry-wide event that honours and recognises excellence and achievement in the jewellery trade.
Last year, the inaugural awards attracted more than 70 entries of exceptional standard for 10 categories. Nicky Oppenheimer, former Chairman of the De Beers Group, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The gala dinner and presentation ceremony, held at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong last September, gathered an audience of over 450 industry leaders, including the most influential and inspiring decision-makers and stakeholders in the jewellery and gemstone trade.

2 About JNA

JNA, first published in 1983, is the flagship magazine of UBM Asia’s Jewellery Group. The publication is a leader in providing the latest industry updates and in-depth reports, covering the international jewellery trade with an Asian insight. Following its success, the publication launched its online edition in June 2011.

3 About the Headline Partners

3.1 Rio Tinto Diamonds (

As one of the largest producers of rough diamonds in the world, Rio Tinto Diamonds enjoys an important presence in the international diamond market through its 100 percent control of the Argyle mine, 60 percent of the Diavik mine, 78 percent interest in the Murowa mine and an advanced diamond project in India. Rio Tinto Diamonds’ productions are sorted and prepared for sale at its sales and marketing headquarters in Antwerp, Belgium, supported by a network of representative offices in Hong Kong, Mumbai and New York. Rio Tinto Diamonds maintains an extensive industry intelligence network and a high level of customer and product support. The company also believes in supporting consumer confidence in diamonds and plays an active role in addressing key industry issues around product integrity and sustainable development. Rio Tinto Diamonds is a founding member of the Responsible Jewellery Council, the not-for-profit organisation established to reinforce consumer confidence in the jewellery industry.

3.2   Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Limited (

Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Limited (Chow Tai Fook), listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong in 2011, is today’s largest jeweller by market capitalisation in the world. With a heritage and long-standing reputation spanning more than 80 years, the iconic brand “Chow Tai Fook” is recognised for its trustworthiness and authenticity, and renowned for its product design, quality and value. Chow Tai Fook has an extensive retail network with over 1,800 points of sale spanning 400 cities in Greater China, Singapore and Malaysia, and a rapidly growing presence in e-commerce. Chow Tai Fook’s fundamentals and growth dynamics are strong, and it aspires to become the world’s most trusted Asian jewellery brand.

4 About the Honoured Partners

4.1 Gubelin

Since 1854, Gubelin has stood for the highest standards in jewellery and gemstones. With its wide range of selected gems and signature jewellery collections, the family-owned business has established its presence in Switzerland’s premier locations including Lucerne, Zurich, Basel, Bern, Lugano, St. Moritz and Geneva. Gubelin runs its first boutique in Asia at the famous Starhill Gallery in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  At the head of the business, now in its sixth generation, stands Raphael Gübelin. Besides the jewellery retail stores and the Gubelin Ateliers, the corporate group also comprises the Gubelin Gem Lab, a world-renowned scientific gemstone laboratory with its headquarters in Switzerland and an office in Hong Kong. As head of the company, Raphael Gübelin is continuing his father’s business philosophy and nurturing the company’s traditional values of genuineness, purity, exclusivity, quality and authenticity.

4.2 Israel Diamond Institute (

The Israel Diamond Institute (IDI) Group of Companies is a non-profit, public interest company that represents all organisations and institutions involved in Israel’s diamond industry. Israel is one of the world’s leading diamond centres, and the Israeli diamond industry has an illustrious and impressive history dating back to the late 1930s. IDI works for the benefit of Israel’s diamond industry. Its responsibilities include marketing and public
relations, technological R&D, promotion of rough sources, professional training, publishing professional literature and security consultancy. IDI is also responsible for industry participation in major trade fairs around the world, organising Israeli Diamond Pavilions, receptions, press conferences and other events at these fairs. IDI operates a representative office in Hong Kong, which fosters trade relations with Asian markets.

4.3   KARP Group

With over four decades of experience and expertise in the diamond trade, KARP caters to international luxury brands. Apart from being a DTC Sightholder, the group is recognised as an “institution” in the industry, using the most technologically advanced manufacturing systems in the business. KARP manufactures a huge array of products, from 0.005-carat goods to stones weighing 10 carats and above. It excels in the production of certified fine makes, fancy cut goods and fancy coloured diamonds. The manufacturer is one of the few companies that has achieved up to 5-micron precision in diamond manufacturing.

4.4    Robert Wan Tahiti

Based in Papeete, Tahiti, the Robert Wan Group is a global brand that focuses its activities around the culture of Tahitian pearls. The Group is represented in Europe, Hong Kong, Mainland China, Japan, the Middle East and Oceania. The brand represents the culmination of Robert Wan’s vision to create timeless exquisite pearl jewellery, from elegant chokers and sautoirs of gem-quality pearls from his farms in South Marutea. One of the industry pioneers, Robert Wan is known as the “Emperor of Pearls.”

4.5 Shanghai Diamond Exchange (

The Shanghai Diamond Exchange is the only transaction platform authorised by the State Council for the import and export of diamonds in mainland China. It is a member of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses.

5 About UBM Asia 

Owned by UBM plc listed on the London Stock Exchange, UBM Asia is Asia’s leading exhibition organiser and the biggest commercial organiser in mainland China, India and Malaysia. Established with its headquarters in Hong Kong and subsidiary companies across Asia and in the US, UBM Asia has a strong global presence in 25 major cities with 29 offices and over 1,200 staff. With a track record spanning over 30 years, UBM Asia operates in 19 market sectors with 160 dynamic face-to-face exhibitions, 75 high-level professional conferences, 28 targeted trade publications, 18 round-the-clock vertical portals and virtual event services for over 1,000,000 quality exhibitors, visitors, conference delegates, advertisers and subscribers from all over the world. We provide a one-stop diversified global service for high-value business matching, quality market news and online trading networks. UBM Asia has extensive office networks in China, Southeast Asia and India, three of the world’s fastest-growing B2B events markets. UBM China has 11 offices in major cities in mainland China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Chengdu and Shenzhen, where we organise more than 60 exhibitions and conferences. In ASEAN, UBM Asia operates from its offices in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines with over 50 events in the region. UBM India teams in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad organise 20 exhibitions and 60 conferences every year across the country.

6 About UBM plc

UBM plc is a leading global business media company. The company informs markets and brings the world’s buyers and sellers together at events, online and in print, and provides them with the information they need to do business successfully. The company has 6,500 staff in more than 30 countries that are organised into specialist teams, which serve commercial and professional communities, helping them to do business and work effectively and efficiently in their markets.

For more information, please contact:

UBM Asia (Hong Kong) +852-2516-1630
[email protected]