Hong Kong Luxury Sales Strengthen Amid Tourism Boom

Hong Kong Luxury Sales Strengthen Amid Tourism Boom

Hong Kong retail sales continued to gain speed in July as tourists flocked back to the municipality and the job market improved.

Hong Kong retail sales from jewelry, watches, clocks and valuable gifts climbed 20% year on year to HKD 4.95 billion ($632.9 million) for the month, according to data the government’s Census and Statistics Department released last week. Retail sales across all product categories rose 17% to HKD 33 billion ($4.22 billion).

The growth also reflected a favorable comparison with the same period a year ago, when Hong Kong was experiencing tight Covid-19 restrictions. Tourism to the municipality was exceptionally low at the time. Much of Hong Kong’s luxury revenue is derived from visitors — primarily from China — who travel there to purchase goods. Hong Kong’s border with the mainland reopened at the start of the year.

For the first seven months, proceeds from jewelry, watches, clocks and valuable gifts surged 64% to HKD 35.36 billion ($4.52 billion). Total retail sales for the period jumped 20% to HKD 238.05 billion ($30.43 billion).

In July, 3.6 million visitors arrived in Hong Kong, compared to 48,048 during the same month last year. Of those who traveled to the municipality in June, 3 million were from the mainland, versus 40,083 in 2022.

“The value of total retail sales continued to increase visibly in July over a year earlier alongside the increase in visitor arrivals and positive consumption sentiment,” a government spokesperson said. “The revival in inbound tourism should continue to benefit the retail sector in the coming months. Improved labor-market conditions and the government’s various measures to support consumption should also help.”

Source: rapaport

Christie’s to Sell 24carat Marilyn Monroe Diamond

Christies Moon of Baroda

Christie’s is set to auction a 24 carat diamond necklace that Marilyn Monroe wore for the premiere of her 1953 movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

The fancy yellow, VS2 clarity Moon of Baroda which originated from the famous Galconda mine that also produced the Hope Diamond  is estimated at $500,000 to $750,000. Christie’s will also auction an autographed photo of the actress wearing the stone, it said Wednesday. The picture carries a presale valuation of $10,000 to $15,000. 

The 24.04 carat stone was first documented in the 15th century as part of the collection of the Gaekwads of Baroda, the ruling family of India. After disappearing for a few centuries, the piece turned up in the US in 1926, brought there by Prince Ramachandra, who then sold it.

In the 1950s, the Moon of Baroda was acquired by Meyer Rosenbaum, the president of Meyer Jewelry Company. Rosenbaum loaned it to Monroe for the opening of the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, in which she sings “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.”

In 1990, Christie’s auctioned the diamond in New York for $297,000. It subsequently remained out of the public eye for more than two decades.

“After 28 years, it has once again reappeared at Christie’s, only this time, the diamond has been classified as a historical diamond,” the auction house said.

Christie’s will preview the Moon of Baroda in Los Angeles from October 16 to 20, auctioning it at its Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels sale on November 27.

Main image: The 24.04-carat Moon of Baroda.

Side image: Marilyn Monroe wearing the necklace. (Frank Powolny)

Source: DIamonds.net