3 Sept 2007
Classic Colours(HKTDC Jewellery, Vol 02,2007)
Semiprecious Stone Jewellery
|Classic European cocktail party jewellery from Lorenzo Jewelry Ltd includes an 18K white gold ring with rubellite and diamonds, an 18K gold cable-style necklace with aquamarine, rubellite, citrine and diamonds, and a triple strand 18K gold bracelet with aquamarine, kunzite, amethyst, peridot and diamonds|
There's nothing quite as irresistible to consumers as eye-catching jewellery that looks expensive but doesn't cost a fortune
Semiprecious may traditionally describe coloured gemstones which are not regarded as precious stones, but ardent admirers contend they can be rarer and more beautiful.
Surging demand for semiprecious gemstone jewellery made in Hong Kong by companies such as Vista Jewelry Ltd certainly seems to underscore that sentiment.
Although diamond and precious stone jewellery is Vista's main product line, the company recently introduced an eye-catching collection of rings with 11- to 18-carat cabochon-cut, semiprecious gemstones polished to a high shine.
"We have blue topaz, amethyst, citrine and smokey quartz in the collection," claims Eva Fu, assistant to the manager at the eight-year-old firm.
Accented with diamonds, the 18K white gold rings with semiprecious stones sell for US$300-500 FOB Hong Kong per piece and are "doing very well" in Europe.
Vista sources diamonds from India and Belgium and coloured stones from Thailand for processing at its main factory in Panyu on the Chinese mainland, but some higher-end, handmade jewellery continues to be crafted in Hong Kong.
Primarily an ODM firm that also produces 10% OEM output, Vista is hoping that its semiprecious stone line will capture 15% of business over the next couple of years.
"The jewellery is very colourful and very fashionable," Fu says, explaining that no minimum order quantity applies and goods are shipped 4-5 weeks after order confirmation to the US and the EU. "If we sell more, we can add more designs."
Focusing on branding, ACH & Co HK Ltd is the company behind the Fabulous Z, J. Lilly and J.C. Fashion lines that have been designed to meet the needs of all market sectors with collections that range from bold to modern and delicate to feminine.
Fabulous Z is ACH's CZ line in sterling silver and vermeil that costs US$50-200 FOB Hong Kong per piece, J.C. Fashion is crafted of fine crystals and base metal and sells for US$10-20 and the J. Lilly line features semiprecious gemstones in sterling silver and vermeil and is priced at US$200-400 per piece.
Pieces with coral, citrine and tiger's eye quartz fall within that stated price range; however, more expensive pieces that cost US$400 and up might feature stones such as yellow topaz or aquamarine.
"J. Lilly is a trendy European style for women in their thirties and older," explains marketing communications executive Eric Wong, noting that the three-year-old line has already carved out a 20%-30% share of the 200,000-plus pieces that ACH produces monthly.
Minimum order is 50 pieces per style, with delivery 1-2 months after order confirmation to ACH's main export markets in Europe, the US and Australia.
Industry veteran Yuwa Gems Ltd knows the gemstone business inside and out, having accumulated more than 30 years' experience in manufacturing and wholesaling opals and semiprecious gems.
The company added jewellery to its product inventory about five years ago, and now specialises in mosaic and mosaic inlay jewellery featuring shell, mother-of-pearl, onyx, tiger's eye quartz, lapis lazuli and other stones.
Men's cufflinks in sterling silver or base metal with mother-of-pearl and semiprecious stones priced from US$15-50 FOB Hong Kong per pair are the heart of the company's jewellery sales.
"We focused on men's jewellery in the past, but started to do women's jewellery this year and now that's 30% of our business," reveals manager Rebecca Ng.
Divided into elegant evening wear, young and casual, and funky, chunky styles, women's sterling silver or base metal bangles, earrings, necklaces, and rings in stylish designs and set with a variety of semiprecious gems sell for US$50-300 FOB Hong Kong.
Yuwa's products, 30% of which carry the company's Yuwa brand name, are available in 50-piece minimum order requirements delivered 21-30 days after order confirmation.
Ng says ODM and OEM orders, each accounting for 35% of Yuwa's total output, are exported to the UK, Japan and the US. "We plan to introduce a new collection for men and women made of ebony and semiprecious stones," Ng adds.
Vibrant colours, innovative designs and intricate craftsmanship characterise the creations of Lorenzo Jewelry Ltd, which uses a rich palette of semiprecious stones ranging from amethyst, blue topaz and citrine to more unusual gemstones such as kunzite, paraiba tourmaline, rubellite and morganite.
The company, which has its own Enzo and Lorenzo brands and also manufactures on a private-label basis, exports mainly to the US, UK and Japan but is also developing markets in Russia and the Middle East.
"We're seeing more demand for higher-end, more exotic stones, which is our fastest-growing area," explains senior vice president of sales and marketing Danie Tangchai.
For example, 14K gold jewellery set with amethyst, blue topaz or citrine is priced from US$50-300 FOB Hong Kong per piece, while items with rarer stones could run from US$250-10,000 per piece.
"We expect a minimum order of six pieces per style and deliver 2-6 weeks after order confirmation," Tangchai says, adding that there has recently been a preference for large centre stones and deeper colours.
With such a huge variety of coloured semiprecious gemstones on offer in Hong Kong, lovers of all kinds of exquisite jewellery are truly spoiled for choice.
TEXT BY ALMA HARDING
Designlink Jewellery (Mfg) Ltd
9/F, Blk Q, Phase 3
11 Hok Yuen St
Hung Hom, Kowloon
Peershine Jewellery HK Ltd
Fu Hang Ind Bldg
1 Hok Yuen St East
Hung Hom, Kowloon
Vista Jewelry Ltd
Unit 24, 10/F, Blk B
Focal Ind Centre
21 Man Lok St
Hung Hom, Kowloon