The export of jewelry made of precious metals in Turkey has increased significantly in the last ten years. With this increase, Turkey’s ranking in the industry has grown. Turkey has become one of the leading countries in this regard. The jewelry industry in Turkey can process approximately 400 tons of gold and 200 tons of silver every year and turn them into jewelry. However, the sector is not working at total capacity. Turkey is among the top 10 countries in the world’s gold jewelry production. World jewelry authorities also see Turkey as a competitor to Italy. Currently, more than 50 large companies are employing between 200 and 1500 skilled workers. The precious metals and jewelry sector, one of the largest among the Turkish manufacturing industries, provides employment opportunities for approximately 250,000 people.
Turkish Gold Jewelry Industry
The roots of the Turkish gold jewelry production tradition go back 5000 years. All civilizations that lived in Anatolia created many pieces of jewelry for religious and aesthetic purposes. Hittites, Urartians, Phrygians, Ionians, Lydians, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks, and Ottomans, who ruled in Anatolia, developed their jewelry styles. Among the many different jewelry styles, the Seljuks brought the most essential jewelry style to Anatolia. With the growth and prosperity of the Ottoman Empire, the art of jewelry gained importance in Istanbul. During the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, Istanbul became one of the most critical jewelry centers of the world. There are also historical sources that jewelry fairs held in Istanbul during this period.
Today, the Turkish jewelry industry uses innovative designs and modern technology and techniques that carry the legacy and traces of this traditional and rich jewelry-making tradition.
Turkey is among the five largest markets globally regarding gold jewelry market size, India, China, the USA, and Russia. It is among the top three countries in production, along with India and Italy.
In our country, approximately 250-300 tons of gold jewelry produced every year. The sector is among the largest of the Turkish manufacturing sectors and employs about 250 thousand people. There are approximately 5 thousand manufacturers and 35 thousand retail stores in the industry. However, the gold jewelry production center in Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir is also important. In some provinces in Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia, production with traditional lines is also available. Jewelry manufacturers export 30-40% of the output. The rest is sold to domestic consumers, tourists, and luggage traders.
Istanbul Gold Exchange (IAB)
IAB started its activities in 1995 to liberalize the Turkish Gold Industry and harmonize with international markets. Exchange members consist of banks, authorized institutions, precious metal intermediary institutions, and unique metal production and marketing organizations. The IGE enables gold supply and demand organizations to meet in an organized market environment. It works to provide production financing of the jewelry sector at lower costs and securitize gold by trading in financial markets. It acts as a bridge between the gold sector and also the financial sector.
Exports of the Turkish Jewelry Industry
In the last 20-25 years, the investment tools used by individuals have increased due to the change in the Turkish economy. In addition to purchasing gold jewelry for investment purposes, there has been a trend towards other investment instruments. As a result, domestic demand for gold jewelry fell. This situation encouraged the producers in the sector to open up to foreign markets. In addition, the removal of import and export restrictions applied to precious metals in 1993 was also influential in the opening of the sector abroad.
Although the history of gold jewelry exports dates back to the last 20-25 years, it has performed exceptionally well. Turkey ranks ninth in gold jewelry exports in 2018. 30-40% of the annual production amount exported. The rest is sold to domestic consumers, tourists, and also luggage traders.
Five major jewelry fairs are held every year in Turkey. These are “Antalya Jewellery, Silver and Watch Fair,” “Istanbul International Watch, Jewelry Machinery and Equipment Fair,” “Istanbul Jewelry Show -IJS,” “Izmir JEWEX Fair” and “Çukurova Gold and Jewelry Fair.”