2 Sept 2005
Coloured Diamond Jewellery(HKTDC Jewellery, Vol 02,2005)
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|Blue, green, yellow and brown treated diamonds set in 18K white gold with contrasting white diamonds provide a soft rainbow of colour in this fabulous necklace, earring, ring and bracelet set from Hong Kong Universal Jewellery Ltd|
Perhaps that is why women who want to stand out from the crowd choose handmade jewellery from Hong Kong Universal Jewellery Ltd set with fancy coloured natural or treated diamonds.
"Coloured diamonds do catch the eye," admits Kevin Lee, manager of the 56-year-old firm, which has specialised in manufacturing diamond jewellery since it was founded.
Lee says Hong Kong Universal Jewellery may use brown or yellow natural diamonds, but usually separates jewellery with natural diamonds from pieces with treated diamonds that come in blue, green, pink, brown and yellow colours. "They're really two different markets," Lee adds.
Treated fancy coloured diamonds may offer a more affordable way to achieve a sparkling multicoloured effect than very rare naturally coloured diamonds, although the treated versions are by no means for the budget-conscious.
A four-piece set from Hong Kong Universal Jewellery in 18K white gold with more than 100 20-30 point, treated coloured diamonds costs about US$150,000 FOB Hong Kong. A ring with 10 pieces of 10-20 point treated coloured diamonds is priced at US$1,500-3,000.
Coloured diamonds account for about 5% of the 1,000 pieces handcrafted each month by Hong Kong Universal Jewellery's workers in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland. "Minimum orders are negotiable, and delivery to major markets such as Japan, the US and the UAE takes four weeks after order confirmation," Lee adds.
Denis Hazell Int'l Ltd is also a big fan of colour, gracing its handmade coloured diamond jewellery with natural fancy yellow or pink diamonds combined with white diamonds.
Two-piece (earring and necklace) and three-piece (necklace, earring and ring) sets with diamonds ranging in size from 5-80 points are the pieces most in demand.
Director Alain Wong say one-carat diamonds are used occasionally. "People prefer a lot of smaller stones rather than a few bigger stones because of the cost," Wong says, adding that jewellery with coloured diamonds costs "35%-40%" more than comparable white diamond jewellery.
A finished piece with a total of 3.5-4 carats of white and fancy coloured diamonds set in 18K white gold is priced at about US$5,000 FOB Hong Kong. "We typically use only one colour of fancy coloured diamond with white diamonds, although we get a small number of orders for multicoloured pieces," Wong says.
The 11-year-old firm specialises in manufacturing diamond jewellery. "About 5% of the 400 pieces we craft monthly features coloured diamonds," Wong adds, noting that Denis Hazell's classic European and US styling emphasises round cuts, but that marquise, oval and pear shapes are incorporated for variety.
The OEM/ODM firm has no minimum order requirement and delivers 2-4 weeks after order confirmation to export markets in Japan, the US, Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
Continental Jewellery (Mfg) Ltd, meanwhile, caters to the demand for coloured diamonds by creating jewellery at price points in keeping with its target middle-income markets in the US and Europe.
"We use natural brown and yellow diamonds in smaller sizes as they're the most economical," says marketing manager Alice Chan, explaining that an 18K gold ring with small brown diamonds generally sells for more than US$500 FOB Hong Kong.
Established in 1975, Continental Jewellery specialises in diamond jewellery and can handle large volume orders. "But because sales of fancy coloured diamond jewellery are only a tiny part of total diamond jewellery sales, each fancy coloured diamond piece is typically a one-off item," Chan adds.
No minimum order applies for fancy coloured diamond jewellery, which is delivered 30-60 days after order confirmation. "The fancy coloured diamond trend is likely to continue, especially for more adventurous buyers who want something different," Chan predicts.
Fancy coloured diamond jewellery in simple, clean-looking designs is a steady seller for Shilat Collection Ltd, which produces 30-50 handmade pieces per month of dressy, high-end jewellery set in 18K white gold or platinum 900 for export to the US, Asia and Europe. "We never do the same piece twice. Each piece is always different," claims manager Sheron Cheng.
The six-year-old firm uses natural fancy coloured diamonds, mainly pink, yellowish-green and yellow colours in sizes ranging from 50 points to 10 carats, to produce pieces that start at US$8,000 FOB Hong Kong.
"Most of our business is one carat and up," says Cheng, noting that the ultimate design of the jewellery is based on the shape and qualities of the diamonds. "We like to do multicoloured pieces because they look more interesting than pieces with just one kind of stone," she adds.
The OEM/ODM firm, which requires no minimum order and delivers 3-4 weeks after order confirmation, is considering launching its own brand soon.
Adding yet another facet to a Hong Kong coloured diamond jewellery industry that keeps dazzling buyers with its creative flair, versatility and expertise.
WRITTEN BY ANDREA PAWLYNA
Unit M, 1/F, Phase 3, Kaiser Estate
11 Hok Yuen St
Hung Hom, Kowloon
Denis Hazell Int'l
Rm 304, Fu Hang Ind Bldg
1 Hok Yuen St East
Hung Hom, Kowloon
Fire Stone Co
17/F, Pearl Oriental House
60 Stanley St
Hong Kong Universal
4/F, Lyndhurst Bldg
25-41 Lyndhurst Terrace
Rm 1105, Commercial House Bldg
35 Queen's Rd Central
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