4 July 2005
Fashion Jewellery(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 07,2005)
Beauty On A Budget
For example, Neva Ltd epitomises Hong Kong's fashion-conscious manufacturers by offering more than 100 different styles in silver and gold. "We produce individual pieces, such as rings, earrings, pendants and items for men, as well as sets for OEM customers and our own NV brand," says merchandiser Queenie Ng.
The nine-year-old firm's business is divided into three sections: trendy 925 silver pieces, karat gold fine jewellery and base metal mass-produced items. "Our biggest category is 925 silver, which accounts for about 70% of our business," says Ng.
FOB Hong Kong unit prices vary widely, from US$1 for an imitation piece to more than US$1,000 for some of its gold designs, for minimum orders of 500 pieces per item delivered 2-3 weeks after order confirmation. "About 60% of our exports go to the US, and the remainder to Europe," Ng adds.
Neva imports chains from Italy and imitation glass stones from Austria, and uses CZ, crystals, pearls, diamonds and enamel in its designs. "Our most popular items are pendants, necklaces and earrings," notes Ng.
Some 2,000 workers work at Neva's ISO 9001- and ISO 14001-certified 70,000-square-foot facility in Panyu on the Chinese mainland.
Europe is also a major market for veteran costume jewellery manufacturer Blue Dolphin Int'l Ltd, which exports some 30% of its products to its major market, the UK.
"Other important destinations include Australia, South America, Asia and the US," explains operations & finance manager Kelvin Chung.
The 33-year-old company's collection includes more than 70,000 designs, which are produced at its ISO 9001-certified, 450,000-square-foot mainland factory in Zhuhai.
Here, some 4,500 workers use white gold, brass, sterling silver, high quality plastic, Swarovski crystals, CZ and semiprecious stones to manufacture necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, pendants, brooches, hair ornaments, cuff-links, tiepins, watches and crystal ornaments.
Blue Dolphin also produces large ranges of alloy and silver jewellery, says Chung, but adds that 925 silver rhodium-plated pieces are particularly popular.
Plating thicknesses range from 0.05-5 microns, for gold, two-tone and three-tone, nickel-free, matt gold, rhodium and anti-tarnish silver plating.
"Most of our business is OEM, but we also cater for ODM and produce our own Blue Dolphin brand," Chung explains. "Business is growing, and silver magnetic jewellery and stainless steel fashion pieces are also in demand."
FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from less than US$1-100 for orders delivered 15-30 days after order confirmation. "We cater for small and large quantities," Chung notes.
Blue Dolphin sources brass, sterling silver, high-quality plastic, Swarovski crystal, CZ and semiprecious stones mainly from the mainland, with some material also imported from Germany.
Another manufacturer benefiting from the immense resources of the mainland is 22-year-old OEM/ODM specialist Hung Kay Jewelry Mfy, which produces some 70,000 sterling silver and brass and alloy pieces per month at its 300-400-worker factory in Guangdong Province on the mainland.
"About 60%-70% of our business is 925 sterling silver jewellery," explains manager Vincent Lam.
Products fall into two categories, and styles vary according to geographic markets. "Our classic group imitates fine jewellery, and for this we use a lot of pavé settings. The other category is trendy silver pieces or silver with single stones."
Whatever the style, sparkling jewellery is very popular. "For a traditional look, we use 925 silver with CZ," he says. "The colourful look is very popular, with pink, amethyst, peridot and yellow."
Hung Kay's FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from US$1-4 for silver items and US$0.50-4.00 for costume jewellery for orders of 50 pieces per style or US$1,500 per order, delivered 4-6 weeks after order confirmation.
"Some 50% of our exports go to Europe, and 25% each to the US and Asia," Lam notes, adding that the company has found a niche market in hand-enamelled silver jewellery. "Especially popular are our enamelled pendants using shapes such as miniature slippers, handbags and other women's accessories, in bright enamel colours of red, pink and turquoise to match the summer fashion colours," he says.
Meanwhile, costume jewellery and fashion accessories specialist Tak Sun Imitation Jewellery Co Ltd has found itself a niche market in men's cuff-links.
Some 80% of this 20-year-old OEM/ODM specialist's business is fashion jewellery, with the cuff-links particularly hot sellers. "We are producing upmarket styles such as platinum-plated steel casting cuff-links with semiprecious stones like amethyst, turquoise and lapis, as well as crystal," explains director Elaine Lam.
Another popular style is the antique-look for alloy casting necklaces and earrings. "These pieces feature bright contrasting coloured stones, including red, green, purple, pink and orange," says Lam. "The use of natural materials such as shells, wood and bamboo is also in demand, often combined with stones."
FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from US$1-50 for orders of 25 dozen per item per colour, delivered 30-45 days after order confirmation.
"About 50% of our exports go to Europe, while the US and Australia are other important destinations," Lam notes.
She predicts that fashion jewellery has a long and lasting future. "With economic changes, consumers think twice about purchasing fine jewellery, whereas nowadays costume pieces are so affordable they can be as disposable as fashion clothing itself."
Demonstrating that Hong Kong has all the expertise and resources to design and make beautiful jewellery for all budgets.
Advance Jewel Int'l Co Ltd
Tak Mei Yeung's Industrial Co Ltd