Shanghai still ranks as most expensive city for luxury jewellery in Asia

Julius Baer Wealth Report Asia examines the price drivers and demand trends for luxury jewellery across the region, and places Shanghai as the most expensive city

High import tariffs on luxury jewellery were the main driver behind the exorbitant prices for luxury jewellery in Shanghai, which, according to the latest Julius Baer Wealth Report, remains the most expensive city to buy the Cartier Love Bracelet in Asia. Conversely, Kuala Lumpur is the most price competitive.

The Cartier Love Bracelet is made of 18K white gold with 204 diamonds and is priced at US$48,143 in Shanghai.

On average, prices in the region were flat year-on-year, although certain cities witnessed significant fluctuations. Hong Kong saw the most significant price gain, whereas Mumbai experienced the biggest decline.

Globally, Hong Kong is one of the top three jewellery auction hubs for Sotheby's, driven by solid demand from Chinese HNWIs. Many mainland Chinese continue to invest in rare pieces such as top-of-the-line diamonds, coloured gemstones and jadeite as part of portfolio diversification. Asian buyers have proven to be a dominant force in the global high-end jewellery auction market. Remarkable auction results in recent years are testament to the buoyancy of the Asian market.

"Asian buyers have always been focused on quality. They would rather have a 10-carat D-flawless diamond instead of a 20-carat F-VVS one. They go for quality instead of size," says Quek Chin Yeow, deputy chairman, Asia, and chairman of International Jewellery.