1 March 2000
COLOURS THAT SHINE (HKTDC Jewellery, Vol 01,2000)
COLOURS THAT SHINE
BRIGHT & BREEZY
TAKING THE PLUNGE
COLOURS THAT SHINE
Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald Jewellery Sets
OFFERING an alternative to the ubiquitous diamond sets, jewellery sets with rubies, sapphires and emeralds are colourful and glamorous. Draped around a neck with matching earrings and rings, these jewellery sets add sparkle to any occasion.
Although ruby and blue sapphire continue to dominate jewellery sets made by Richard Jewelry Co Ltd, director Richard Wong has developed some rings featuring fancy coloured sapphires.
"Our customers, especially those in Japan, prefer the paler colours such as pink and yellow. They are brighter and ideal for summer," Wong says. They also make for more affordable items. Two of the company's 18K white gold rings in pink and yellow sapphire with diamonds sell for US$425-490 FOB Hong Kong each.
Established in 1995, Richard Jewelry specialises in high-end items and its 18K and platinum jewellery is priced at up to US$10,000. Wong notes that best-selling price points for the firm's jewellery have risen slightly in the past year. Rings priced at US$1,000-2,000 are best sellers, according to Wong, with 40% of sales going to customers in Japan.
Most of the company's jewellery is still made in Hong Kong because of the superior craftsmanship available. Minimum order value is US$5,000 and delivery time is within six weeks.
Noble Jewelry Ltd has seen business change over the past three years, with the US taking over from Japan as the main market. The US now accounts for 40% of Noble's sales, an increase of 20% in the past year, according to director Amy Chan. Best seller is a range of fine jewellery rings in white 18K gold priced at US$1,000 FOB Hong Kong each.
Most of the 3,200 pieces manufactured each month are made at the company's factory in Guangdong, mainland China, with some big items made in Hong Kong. One item made in Hong Kong is a jewellery set with sapphires and diamonds in 18K white gold, which is priced at up to US$150,000.
There is no minimum order and delivery is within three weeks.
The US is an important market for Universal Jewellery Design Center Ltd. Half of exports go to the US, with the remainder shipped to Asia, Europe and the Middle East, according to director Kenneth Kwan.
However, 1999 was a better year for the Japan market and exports to Asia in general rose by up to 20%.
Universal is well-known as a high-end manufacturer, having been in business since 1948. Most of the 3,000 pieces produced each month are made in Hong Kong and almost all are in platinum, says Kwan. Best-selling price points are US$3,000-4,000 FOB Hong Kong. There is no minimum order and delivery is within eight weeks.
The US market for jewellery is booming, but Japan remains the main market for Hong Kong Universal Jewellery Ltd, according to manager Kevin Lee.
"The US market is very healthy but the jewellery in demand there is different from what we specialise in," says Lee. That specialisation is products for the Japanese market, as well as the Middle East, especially the United Arab Emirates.
In business since 1949, the firm offers a full range of fine gemset jewellery. Japanese customers demand fine-quality high-end jewellery sets, such as one featuring rubies and diamonds in platinum and valued at more than US$220,000 FOB Hong Kong.
These types are all manufactured in Hong Kong, with more commercial items made in the company's factory on the mainland. Monthly production averages 20 pieces per model. There is no minimum order and delivery takes four weeks.
Denis Hazell Int'l Ltd is well-known for 18K and platinum gemset handmade fine jewellery. Export of the 2,000 pieces of jewellery manufactured each month is worldwide.
Best sellers are 18K white gold rings priced at US$300-400 FOB Hong Kong, and necklaces at US$1,500-2,000.
There is no minimum order and delivery is within two weeks.
Another long-established jewellery company in Hong Kong -- in business since 1967 -- Larry Jewelry Ltd is also one of the SAR's most visible retailers.
The firm turns out 18K yellow and white gold and platinum PT950 jewellery, predominantly rings, specialising in high-end jewellery, with pieces selling for US$1,000 FOB Hong Kong and up to as much as US$300,000. More than 85% of production is sold at retail, with the remainder exported, mainly to Europe, Japan and the US.
The company has factories in Hong Kong and Singapore that employ highly skilled workers and use high-quality gemstones.
WRITTEN BY JOHNNY EDISON
BRIGHT & BREEZY
Brooches & Pendants
NESTLING in the shadow of mass-produced rings and earrings, brooches and pendants offer designers more creativity and scope for appealing jewellery. Flowers, ribbons and animals are popular and lightweight is best, especially for brooches. Colours abound, with enamel and fancy coloured diamonds popular.
A new collection by Tenon Jewellery Mfy Ltd merges 24K gold with plique-a-jour enamelling techniques to produce stunning results. Tenon took more than a year to develop the new process, working with in-house designers and local consultants, according to managing director Ivan So. "Our focus is on the Asian market for these enamel items, especially [mainland] China. The mainland is a mature market in terms of 24K gold jewellery, so consumers there are always looking for something different and new. Consequently they like these items," So says.
The new designs, featuring colourful insects such as butterflies and bees, have gained attention since they were launched at the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Watch Fair '99. One necklace won third' prize in a Hong Kong jewellery design competition in November last year and orders at trade fairs have been above expectations, according to So. Taiwan accounts for more than half of exports.
Tenon manufactures up to 30 new designs each month at its 80-worker factory in Hong Kong. Prices range from US$130 to US$180 FOB Hong Kong each.
Minimum order is 50 pieces and delivery is within three weeks.
Antique-look jewellery is the best selling for The World Jewellery Co. Swirling, ribbon shapes in platinum with diamonds are reminiscent of times gone by and enjoy strong demand in the US$500 price bracket. Diamonds are of all shapes and sizes in VS clarity and G-H colour.
The company, established in 1973, manufactures fine jewellery in the US$200-50,000 FOB Hong Kong price range. Half of production is sold locally through its retail outlets while the rest is exported, mainly to the US and Japan. Sales to the US market increased by up to 20% in 1999, according to overseas sales department representative Ringo Chan.
Most of the jewellery is made in the company's mainland China factory, which employs 350 skilled craftsmen. Minimum order is 5-6 pieces and delivery is within three weeks.
Belford Jewellery has launched a new Lucky Star collection. According to managing director Benson Wong, each piece features five-point, star-shaped diamonds, a new cut from Belgium, which is supplied by an associate company. The collection has more than 50 different designs, says Wong. "We use the star shape since it is new and is easy to combine with other gemstones for appealing designs," he says.
From the monthly production of about 500 pieces, priced at US$500-50,000 FOB Hong Kong, the best sellers are priced between US$1,000 and US$2,000. Items in 18K white gold are the most popular. Half of production is sold in Hong Kong while the main export market is the US.
All production of the Lucky Star collection is done in Hong Kong. "It is not easy to set this shape compared to other fancy shaped diamonds, so we do all manufacturing in Hong Kong to ensure quality," says Wong.
Minimum order value is US$10,000 and delivery is one month after order confirmation.
Started by a member of an established loose gemstone trading company in Hong Kong, Creative Holdings Ltd has been manufacturing jewellery since 1995. Creative now manufactures items priced at US$500-3,000, according to president Dennis Ko.
"Best-selling items are priced at US$500 [FOB Hong Kong] in large volume. Items priced at US$1,000 for smaller amounts are still sellable," says Ko.
Japan is the major market for Creative. Ko studied in Japan, speaks Japanese and understands the culture, which he sees as a major business advantage. "Good service is most important for the Japanese market. Everyone can get new designs and companies can always compete on price, but service and relationships with your customers take time and is paramount," says Ko.
Creative's new collections offer more fancy coloured diamonds set in 18K white gold. Prices from Hong Kong diamond dealers are dropping and more consumers can now afford these rare and valuable diamonds. Pink is the most valuable and most desirable colour in demand in Japan.
There is no minimum order and delivery is within three weeks.
WRITTEN BY JOHNNY EDISON
TAKING THE PLUNGE
NECKLACES have the power to dazzle and capture the attention as few other pieces of jewellery can. They make a singular statement about luxury and style and Hong Kong companies have a special fondness for creating these eye-catching objects of beauty.
Intricately crafted handmade necklaces are a hallmark of ISE Jewellery Co Ltd, which was founded in 1991. The company's designs are frequently inspired by nature, with flowers, insects and animals being favourite subjects.
One necklace features South Sea pearls and Tahitian pearls in the form of a colourful assortment of grapes surrounded by leaves of 18K white gold. "We like to make very detailed pieces. We specialise in different kinds of pearls, but we also use diamonds, precious and semiprecious stones," says sales manager Ko Kin-man.
He says 18K white gold is in demand, although 18K yellow gold and 900 platinum are also available.
ISE makes 200 pieces of jewellery per month, 90% of which carries its ISE brand name. Main markets are the US, Japan, Europe and the Middle East.
Necklaces account for 20% of production and are priced from HK$30,000 to HK$400,000 FOB Hong Kong per piece. The most saleable range is HK$30,000-40,000.
Minimum order varies depending on the item, with delivery taking two weeks after order confirmation.
Delicate, Japanese-style diamond necklaces from Concord Fame Ltd are exported to Taiwan, Japan, mainland China, the US and Australia. Supervisor Carol Leung says the company's design philosophy is "the simpler, the better".
Round and fancy-cut diamonds from 1-50 points are set in 18K white or yellow gold, or 950 platinum. The company produces 2,000 pieces of cast jewellery per month, priced from US$65 to US$4,500 FOB Hong Kong per piece. Necklaces sell for US$150-300 per piece and represent 20-25% of total sales.
"For the US and Australia, we use more diamonds because they want a bigger, more expensive look," Leung says.
Minimum order is negotiable and delivery takes two weeks after order confirmation.
At Aurostyle Ltd, contemporary/classic looks are the primary design concept, both for evening wear and day wear jewellery. "Diamonds from 2-10 points are our main stone. The trend now, especially in necklaces, is expensive material. The market for coloured stones is soft," says sales and marketing manager Dora Sit.
Set in 18K white or yellow gold, necklaces sell for US$500-US$1,400 FOB Hong Kong per piece. Abstract styles with a minimum of detail are among the best sellers. Necklaces account for about 7% of the 40,000 pieces of jewellery, priced from US$10 to US$1,400 per piece, which the company manufactures monthly.
Each export market has its own distinctive characteristics, Sit says. "In Europe, they want a nice balance between the stones and metal. Australia likes more stone-dominated jewellery, and Japan prefers a delicate look with elaborate designs," she says, adding that the company wants to expand sales to Japan.
Minimum order size is by arrangement with individual customers, with delivery 5-6 weeks after order confirmation.
Kai-Yin Lo Ltd's Traditional Collection mixes unusual materials, such as bone, wood and old jade, with semiprecious stones and gold-plated or silver-plated rondels for a big, chunky necklace look.
"We put the materials together and see what pieces and colours go together. We might use stones like amber, agate, onyx, moonstone or rose quartz," says Yimmy Law, manager for corporate affairs and administration.
The stones are mounted on 18K gold vermeil or simply strung on a silk cord.
Prices range from HK$1,500 to HK$15,000 FOB Hong Kong per piece, with exports mainly to Japan and the US. Minimum order is US$3,000 and delivery takes 7-9 weeks after order confirmation.
Established in 1972, the company manufactures 2,000 pieces per month, most of them handmade. The Kai-Yin Lo name is carried on all of the company's products.
Other lines include 18K gold precious and semiprecious jewellery, 18K gold vermeil semiprecious jewellery, pearl, jadeite, platinum and antique jewellery priced from HK$1,500 to HK$100,000 per piece.
Lorenzo Jewelry Mfg (HK) Ltd manufactures a wide variety of contemporary-style 14K and 18K gold jewellery and sterling silver jewellery, set with small diamonds, and precious and semiprecious stones.
"We see a strong demand for two-tone and 14K white gold jewellery, and for large coloured centre stones [9x7mm to 12x10mm] with diamond accents," says marketing vice-president Flora Wan.
Necklaces account for about 10% of the 20,000 items of cast jewellery the firm manufactures per month and are priced from US$185 to US$500 FOB Hong Kong per piece.
One model is mounted in 18K white gold with 0.89-carat of diamonds.
Minimum order is 12 pieces/pairs, with delivery taking six weeks after order confirmation. Markets are the US, Europe, Japan and Australia.
WRITTEN BY ANDREA PAWLYNA
EVOKING the flavour of a bygone era, antique-style jewellery occupies an enduring niche in today's market. Hong Kong manufacturers have helped broaden the appeal of this style of jewellery by refreshing the designs with modern-day touches.
Omnia Jewellery is known for antique styles in both traditional designs and updated versions. "The traditional style sells because people feel it looks more authentic. But in other pieces we add a more modern feeling. There's not too much detail and the piece is not as heavy," says manager Edmond Lai.
Diamonds set in 18K white gold is the look most in demand for antique-style jewellery. "But we can use platinum or coloured stones if a customer wants. We also use a lot of small diamonds -- normally the sizes are from 1-20 points," Lai says.
Prices range from HK$1,000 FOB Hong Kong each for rings and HK$6,000-40,000 for necklaces. Minimum order is 10 pieces, with delivery one month after order confirmation. Major export markets are Japan and Europe.
Antique-style jewellery accounts for about 40% of the 1,000 pieces of cast jewellery that Omnia manufactures per month. The remainder is European-style gemset jewellery in 18K white or yellow gold, or 900 platinum.
DewCarat Ltd often combines large semiprecious stones, such as aquamarine, garnet and citrine, with pav diamonds in 14K or 18K gold in antique-style pieces.
"We may use stones up to five carats and we use lots of aquamarine. The nice pale blue colour goes well with the antique look," says vice-president Anita Tse.
The company, established in 1990, aims for a medium-sized look and uses colours that closely follow the latest fashion trends. Its antique-style rings and earrings sell for HK$1,000-3,000 FOB Hong Kong each/per pair. Antique-style necklaces with South Sea pearls and pav diamonds are priced from HK$6,000 to HK$7,000.
About 30% of the 800 pieces produced monthly, both cast and handmade, are antique-style, with 14K and 18K gold gemset jewellery accounting for the rest. All products are stamped with the company's DC brand. The US, Europe, Japan, Singapore and the Middle East are the main markets.
For its antique-look jewellery, there is no minimum order and delivery is within one month.
Floral motifs are the main theme for antique styles at Octagon Jewellery Co Ltd. A row of pretty flowers, for instance, adorns a diamond bracelet, which is priced at US$1,900 FOB Hong Kong each, and a pair of diamond earrings shows flowers peeking out from layers of leaves (for US$6,900).
The company, set up in 1987, offers designs for evening wear and day wear. "Our pieces are detailed, but not busy. We would like them to look clean and comfortable," says purchasing and production manager Ann Ho.
Pieces are typically set in 18K white gold or 950 platinum, with melee diamonds in 1-5-point sizes. However, centre stones are larger.
Antique styles, which sell for US$600-20,000, account for half of the 250-300 pieces, both cast and handmade, the company produces each month. The other 50% is a mixture of European and classic styles in 18K gold or 950 platinum, mainly set with diamonds, and ranging from US$1,500 to US$30,000 per piece.
The US and Europe are the company's strongest export markets. There is no minimum order and goods are shipped 4-6 weeks after order confirmation.
The latest antique-style designs at City Design Jewelry (Int'l) Ltd, set up in 1998, are a line of diamond pendants in the shape of perfume bottles.
Semi-handmade, the pendants are mounted in 18K white gold. They can be produced in yellow gold, as well as 14K white and yellow gold, two-tone gold or 900 platinum. Each piece contains about 50-200 diamonds 1-2 points in size. A few models are set with precious stones.
City Design makes a full range of antique-style bracelets, rings, earrings, brooches and necklaces. These account for most of the 8,000-16,000 pieces of cast jewellery the firm manufactures each month. Prices range from US$50 to US$2,000 FOB Hong Kong per piece.
"We do smaller, lighter pieces that are more suitable for casual wear than evening wear," says company director Peter Chan.
Minimum order is 10 pieces per style and delivery takes 3-6 weeks after order confirmation. Markets include the US, Europe, South America, the Middle East and Asia.
At Alliance Clasp & Jewellery Mfr, established in 1982, the spotlight is on multifunctional antique-style jewellery. The company's diamond brooch-pin-pendant combination can be ordered in 14K or 18K white or yellow gold.
"Multifunction pieces do very well in the US," says general manager Anna Leung.
Antique styles represent 20-30% of the company's monthly production of 800 pieces. The rest is European- and American-style jewellery.
"We do simple designs at lower prices for the US; higher-quality pieces with bigger diamonds for Europe," Leung says.
Prices for antique styles range from HK$6,000 to HK$20,000 FOB Hong Kong each, and HK$150-40,000 for the others. There is no minimum order and delivery takes four weeks after order confirmation.
WRITTEN BY ANDREA PAWLYNA
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