14 March 2007
Coloured Stone Jewellery(HKTDC Jewellery, Vol 01,2007)
|A Burmese ruby and diamond necklace, earring and ring set in 18K white gold from Gold Field Co Mfg Ltd is ideal for a night on the town|
Like splashes of paint on a canvas, coloured gemstones are dazzling to behold. Sky-blue sapphires, blood-red rubies and grassy-green emeralds are just a few of the colours that await those with an appreciation for nature's rich palette.
With the wide variety of coloured gemstones available today, connoisseurs can choose from an almost infinite variety of hues and tones available from Hong Kong jewellery manufacturers.
Gold Field Co Mfg Ltd, for example, uses Sri Lankan sapphires and Burmese rubies to add just the right amount of night-time glamour to the company's dressy European-style gemset and diamond jewellery.
Sizes range from 1-5 carats, with centre stones typically from 80 points to 1.5 carats, but general manager Fanny Cheng says the first consideration isn't the stone's size.
"We do our best to match the colour and sometimes that can be hard," she explains, adding that the company relies mainly on rubies, emeralds and sapphires - although some pieces feature aquamarine and blue topaz.
Demand for coloured gemstone jewellery has remained steady and accounts for 30%-40% of the OEM/ODM firm's total monthly jewellery output of 1,500-2,000 pieces, but diamond jewellery is Gold Field's main seller.
A typical 18K gold ring with precious stones and diamonds ranges in price from US$500-3,000 FOB Hong Kong, while a three-piece necklace, earring and ring set costs from US$5,000-30,000. Cheng adds that Gold Field keeps on top of trends by creating 50 new designs each month.
A less-expensive line featuring smaller stones and simpler designs is on offer for younger women. Prices range from US$1,500-2,000 per piece for a ring to US$2,500-8,000 for a three-piece set.
No minimum order is required and Gold Field delivers 10 working days after order confirmation to its major markets in the US, Middle East, Southeast Asia and Europe.
Both classic and fashion-oriented jewellery styles are among the strengths of Continental Jewellery (Mfg) Ltd. The company's tradition of skilled craftsmanship and innovative design has served it well since establishment in 1975, and total annual production capacity is up to 500,000 pieces.
Besides diamond jewellery, Continental Jewellery also produces gemset jewellery for daytime and evening wear in a wide range of price points.
Peridot, citrine, garnet, tourmaline, topaz and amethyst are among the stones in the company's line-up of semiprecious stone jewellery, which features both single and multicoloured settings. "Overall sales volumes are higher for jewellery with smaller stones than with larger stones," says promotion assistant Phoebe Chen.
Continental Jewellery accepts orders for both custom-made and mass-produced goods, and shipments generally go out one month after order confirmation to the OEM/ODM firm's markets worldwide.
Similarly, fine diamond and gemstone jewellery has been a hallmark of Universal Jewellery Design Center Ltd since the company's founding in 1949.
Gemset jewellery in 18K gold or platinum set with precious or semiprecious stones (amethyst or tourmaline) accounts for about one-third of the 1,000 pieces the company turns out monthly.
"Sapphires and rubies are our best-selling gemstones," says marketing manager Betty Kwan, adding "we never mix precious and semiprecious stones together."
Known for its dressy night-time jewellery, the OEM/ODM company also makes simpler daytime jewellery in trendier designs for its worldwide markets. "Daytime jewellery is the biggest part of our business," Kwan adds, noting that many of the ideas come from Nature, such as plants and the sea. "We try to match fashion trends because that's what our customers want."
A ring or pair of earrings for daytime wear would cost US$800-1,000 FOB Hong Kong per piece, compared with US$20,000-100,000 for a lavish, handmade necklace. "Customers may order as little as one piece and expect delivery 4-6 weeks after order confirmation," Kwan says.
Providing customers with stylish, high-quality jewellery has been the mission of 15-year-old Legend Jewelry Co Ltd, which specialises mainly in diamond jewellery but sees gemset jewellery account for about 20% of sales.
Baguette cuts have long been popular with diamonds, but Legend has adapted their rectangular shape to its European-style 9K, 14K and 18K gold and 950 platinum gemset jewellery. "We stack the baguettes in layers to give a coloured stone a bigger look," says merchandiser Flora Yu.
Legend uses rubies, sapphires and emeralds as well as amethyst, blue topaz, citrine, peridot and garnet in its gemset jewellery. "Sometimes we mix precious and semiprecious," Yu explains. "We've combined sapphires and lemon quartz, for example, and our US customers like it."
The company manufactures an average of 60,000 pieces of all types of high- and low-end fine jewellery per month at its factory in Panyu on the Chinese mainland.
"We do both daytime and evening wear," Yu adds, noting that a ring in the low-end price range costs US$50-100 FOB Hong Kong while average high-end ring prices range from US$1,000-2,000.
Yu says minimum orders are negotiable, with delivery about four weeks after order confirmation. "The US is our biggest market, absorbing 70% of exports, while Europe, South Africa and Australia take the rest," she reveals.
Coloured gemstones are a fabulous pick-me-up, and Hong Kong's jewellery companies have just the right dazzling delights to meet every market's needs.
WRITTEN BY FAITH WHEELER
Gold Field Co Mfg Ltd
Unit 716, Blk A
Focal Ind Centre
21 Man Lok St
Hung Hom, Kowloon