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Heavy Metal(HKTDC Jewellery, Vol 01,2001)

Vol. 1 2001


Heavy Metal
Platinum Jewellery

Rainbow Hues
Coloured Stones

Lustrous Gems
Pearl Jewellery


Heavy Metal

Platinum Jewellery

COOL, sophisticated luxury is the essence of platinum jewellery. Hong Kong's jewellery manufacturers have launched new designs and unusual treatments that make the most of this noble metal.

Jewellery Collection Mfr Ltd's novel use of pink sapphires and diamonds gives an entirely new perspective to platinum. The company uses top-quality pink sapphires to create retro-style jewellery that catches the eye with contrasting colours.

"We can also substitute tsavorite, yellow sapphires, blue sapphires or rubies for the pink sapphires," says export manager Lionel Neo.

The company, established in 1989, typically uses 10- to 15-point round gemstones to keep its jewellery within an affordable price range of US$300-800 per piece FOB Hong Kong.

"We go for fashionable jewellery rather than big pieces. Our jewellery is meant to be worn every day," Neo says.

Most pieces are handmade, although casting is available for larger orders. The firm produces about 3,000 pieces of platinum, 14K and 18K gold gemset jewellery per month at its factories in Hong Kong and on the Chinese mainland. All items are stamped with the company's JC brand name.

Minimum order value is US$10,000, with delivery 4-6 weeks after order confirmation. Markets include the UK, US, Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Mio Jewellery Co Ltd's frosty white platinum and diamond jewellery remains a strong seller, but pieces with added splashes of colour from rubies or sapphires are becoming popular. "People are looking for a little more colour these days," says assistant director Maggie Chan.

Set up in 1989, the company is known for its classic European styling and produces about 1,000 cast pieces per month and 30-50 handmade items. "The handmade pieces can have centre stones up to 50 carats, which are accented with 5- to 10-point taper diamonds," Chan says.

Platinum jewellery accounts for 90% of total production. The balance is 18K white or yellow gold. Prices range from US$100-10,000 per piece FOB Hong Kong.

The company accepts OEM and private-label orders, but also sells a small portion of jewellery under its Mio brand name. Minimum order is 50 pieces for cast jewellery, with no minimum for handmade items. Delivery takes two weeks after order confirmation. Major markets are the US, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

Octagon Jewellery Co Ltd is known for its classic and antique-style platinum and diamond jewellery. The company, set up in 1987, uses skilled Hong Kong craftsmen. "We make everything in Hong Kong," says managing director Susana Chow.

The company produces about 500 semicast, handworked pieces per month. "We generally use 10-point to one-carat diamonds for centre stones or two- to five-carat precious coloured stones," she says. Some platinum and diamond pieces also contain South Sea pearls.

Out of favour for several years, coloured stones are making a comeback. "Only 10% of our pieces have coloured stones now, but we feel they are picking up again, so we are planning to increase that to 20-30%," Chow says.

Prices are US$800-1,500 per piece FOB Hong Kong for Octagon's lower range and US$5,000-15,000 for its medium-range items.

"Our most popular lines are for business wear. However, tiaras and dressy evening pieces account for about 20% of what we make," Chow says. Some high-end pieces are priced at more than US$100,000.

Business is mainly private-label and OEM. Lower-range lines carry the firm's octagon-shaped logo. The US, Europe, Saudi Arabia and Southeast Asia are its main markets.

Minimum order is three pieces for jewellery priced at US$800-1,500, and one piece for items priced higher. No minimum applies when ordering a range of samples. Delivery follows order confirmation by 3-4 weeks.

Established in 1948, Universal Jewellery Design Center Ltd produces innovative, high-end jewellery. The latest example is its Millennium diamond setting. Mounted in platinum 950, four small marquise diamonds are arranged to look like one large marquise diamond, suggesting a flower petal.

"We have patented the design worldwide. We always try to create a new style," maintains manager Ronald Chu. The company also manufactures 14K yellow and white gold, and 18K white or yellow gold gemset jewellery.

Diamonds range from half a point to three carats. "We always use diamonds with platinum. Sometimes we add white or golden South Sea pearls or black Tahitian pearls. But we use very few coloured stones," Chu says.

However, fancy-coloured diamonds, such as yellow, pink or blue, are emerging as a new trend.

Universal Jewellery produces 4,000-5,000 European-style pieces per month, most cast, for private-label and OEM customers. Its best-selling price range is US$3,000-5,000 per piece FOB Hong Kong. One-of-a-kind pieces can go as high as US$2m.

The company has factories in Hong Kong and on the Chinese mainland. It exports to the US, Europe, Japan, Taiwan and Southeast Asia. The minimum order requirement is flexible, depending on the price range and customer. Delivery is 4-6 weeks after order confirmation.


Contact Details

China Diamond Production Co Ltd
3/F, Unit 22, Blk B
Focal Ind Centre
21 Man Lok St, Hung Hom
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2368-6484
Fax: 852-2365-6894

Jewellery Collection Mfr Ltd
Rm 505, Universal Comm Bldg
65-69 Peking Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2369-3632
Fax: 852-2368-3799
E-mail: jcmfrltd@netvigator.com

Mio Jewellery Co Ltd
Rm 1004, Tower A
Hung Hom Comm Centre
37-39 Ma Tau Wai Rd, Hung Hom
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2736-0880
Fax: 852-2302-4439
E-mail: mioj@hongkong.com

Octagon Jewellery Co Ltd
6/F, Unit 30, Blk B
Focal Ind Centre
21 Man Lok St, Hung Hom
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2366-0303
Fax: 852-2739-8581
E-mail: octagon@octagon-jew.com

Richard Jewelry Co Ltd
Unit 324B, Hankow Centre
5 Hankow Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2366-5992
Fax: 852-2366-4788

Universal Jewellery Design Center Ltd
G/F, Unit 2, Blk A, Focal Ind Centre
21 Man Lok St, Hung Hom
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2334-3331
Fax: 852-2764-1587
E-mail: ujdc@ujdc.com

Rainbow Hues

Coloured Stones

AFTER years of dominance by diamonds, colour is back in fashion. Manufacturers are returning to lines full of bold blues, rich reds and glamorous greens. Along with these standard hues, fancy-coloured sapphires, including pink and yellow, tempt consumers as manufacturers continue serving US and European markets, while anticipating a return of Asian buyers.

Peter Lam Jewellery Ltd, established in 1985, manufactures fine jewellery costing US$6-10,000 FOB Hong Kong. The company has found a specialist niche.

"For more than four years we have concentrated on using princess-cut gemstones in our jewellery," says director Peter Lam, about the square-shaped cut now in fashion.

In addition to its diamond designs, the company last year added many lines using rubies, emeralds and sapphires, even fancy-coloured pink and yellow sapphires.

"Diamond jewellery is available everywhere. Using pink and yellow offers our customers something fresh and new," says Lam. This year the company will offer strong new designs in distinctive colours, like onyx and shell.

For three years Lam has shifted business away from Asian markets due to the economic slowdown. Simultaneously, the company's US-bound exports rose to account for 35% of sales.

Lam anticipates an Asian revival. "We are returning our focus to Asian markets, including Malaysia and Indonesia. Now is the time for these markets to rebound," he says.

Last year, the company's best-selling price points were US$300-600. Minimum total order is US$10,000, with delivery within five weeks.

Denis Hazell Int'l Ltd is known for handmade 18K and platinum gemset fine jewellery. Exports of the 2,000 pieces the company manufactures in Hong Kong each month are diversified, although its focus is on the US market.

Best-selling coloured-stone items are set in platinum and priced at US$5,000-25,000, according to director Rosita Choy. "Our jewellery is not mass-produced. We provide a very individual service and product," she says.

While conceding that jewellery markets are less buoyant than in previous years, Choy highlights Denis Hazell's experience and solid product lines.

"Our strength is our craftsmanship. We use veteran craftsmen, who have more than 10 years of experience. Quality is key to our business," she says.

There is no minimum order. Delivery is normally within two weeks, although some items, like complex necklaces, can take longer to manufacture.

Noble Jewelry Ltd has widened its export markets and will diversify product lines. "We plan more silver jewellery because those items allow a better profit margin," says financial controller Karen Chung.

Established in 1992, Noble makes fine jewellery in platinum and 18K gold priced at US$200-30,000. Rings account for more than half its production. The best-selling price point is US$500.

By adapting some designs previously made with diamonds, Noble has prompted new demand for its ruby, blue sapphire and emerald pieces.

"We used white 18K gold designs for round diamonds and instead set them with round sapphires interspersed with diamonds," says Chung. The design is simple, but easy to match with women's outfits. Chung says this jewellery is ideal for young women.

Traditionally popular among Japanese customers, Noble is trying to diversify its markets. The company has hired a European sales manager to target European markets. In addition, Chung says the time is right to develop the Chinese mainland market.

"We think China is ready for our high-end jewellery. Some consumers there have wealth and do buy luxury products," she says.

Noble makes about 4,000 pieces per month at its factory in Guangdong Province on the Chinese mainland. The factory has captured two ISO-standard awards and last year received a merit certificate in a competition organised by the Hong Kong Industry Department. There is no minimum order, and delivery is within three weeks.

Ultrarich Jewellery Mfr Ltd, after concentrating on the Asian market since the company's establishment in 1986, weathered the Asian economic storm by switching to the US market.

The company makes gemset platinum and gold jewellery for global export. Its rings in 18K white gold, featuring square-cut rubies and sapphires, sell well.

Ultrarich creates up to 3,000 pieces per month in Jakarta, Indonesia. Minimum order is 10 pieces per design, and delivery is within 30 days.


Contact Details

Denis Hazell Int'l Ltd
Rm 304, Fu Hang Bldg
1 Hok Yuen St East, Hung Hom
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2362-0789
Fax: 852-2362-2766
E-mail: dehazel@netvigator.com

Elegance Jewellery Int'l Ltd
Rm 12A1, China Insurance Bldg
48 Cameron Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2311-0511
Fax: 852-2311-0078
E-mail: ejdmi@hongkong.com

Noble Jewelry Ltd
4/F, Grand Centre
8 Humphreys Avenue
Tsim Sha Tsui
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2722-1132
Fax: 852-2369-1412
E-mail: karen.chung@noble.com.hk

Peter Lam Jewellery Ltd
Units 307-8, Fu Hang Ind'l Bldg
1 Hok Yuen St East, Hung Hom
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2363-2122
Fax: 852-2764-1328
E-mail: peterljl@netvigator.com

Ultrarich Jewellery Mfr Ltd
Rms 106-8, Lyndhurst Bldg
25-41 Lyndhurst Terrace
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2543-8828
Fax: 852-2542-2574
E-mail: ultrich@glink.net.hk

Universal Jewellery Co Ltd
G/F, Shop E
10 Ice House St
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2522-3038
Fax: 852-2522-8060

Lustrous Gems

Pearl Jewellery

PEARLS display warmth and appeal different from all other gemstones. Cultured in a variety of shapes and colours, these gifts from the sea have captivated jewellery lovers for centuries.

Pearl jewellery for today's market takes its cue from the past and the present, with designs showcasing the best of a pearl's qualities.

Maxim Jewellery Co favours white and golden South Sea pearls, and black Tahitian pearls, for its classic American-style necklaces, brooches and rings. "We make medium-range to high-end jewellery from US$1,000-10,000 per piece [FOB Hong Kong]," says manager Joseph Wai.

Pearl jewellery accounts for about 50% of the 300 semicast, handworked pieces manufactured monthly at the company's Hong Kong factory. Most are set with diamonds or coloured stones in 18K white gold or platinum 900. Also available are Japanese Akoya and Chinese freshwater pearls.

One popular butterfly brooch features a single pink Chinese freshwater pearl body framed by yellow and pink sapphire wings. Solitaire pearls also sell well in pins and earrings.

"We like to make pieces that are stylish, clean-looking and not too big. Style is more important than being showy," Wai says.

The company accepts OEM and private-label orders from customers in the US and Europe, its main export markets. "We are trying to expand in Europe, especially Germany, Italy and France," Wai notes.

Minimum order value is US$3,000, with delivery 3-4 weeks after order confirmation.

Japanese and Chinese cultured pearls grace Profit Gem Int'l Ltd's classic pearl jewellery. Set in 18K white or yellow gold with diamond accents, pearl jewellery accounts for 40% of total sales. Diamond and coloured gemstone jewellery accounts for the remainder.

Pearl bracelets have enjoyed renewed demand in recent months. "People want them to match their necklaces," says marketing manager Hermia Wong. Bracelets with one, two or three rows of pearls are popular.

Wong says Profit Gem plans to introduce South Sea pearls to its lines this year. "Prices for South Sea pearls are becoming more reasonable," she explains.

The company exports the 20,000 pieces of cast jewellery it makes each month, mainly to the US, at prices of US$8-800 per piece FOB Hong Kong. "We are also going to try developing a market in the Middle East," Wong says.

Minimum order is 500 pieces for a variety of items, or 100 pieces per style. Delivery is one week after order confirmation.

Although pearl jewellery represents only a small portion of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Co Ltd's output, the company plans to increase production beyond its 4,000 pieces per month.

"We want to put more attention on developing pearl jewellery, especially South Sea products, because of growing market potential," says senior manager Kent Wong.

The company is known for fine, elegant designs that appeal to Asian women. Pearl jewellery for business-wear sells best, but bolder evening-wear pieces are also available. Retail prices typically are HK$1,000-20,000 (US$128-2,564). Most pieces are manufactured on the Chinese mainland.

The latest fashion combines pearls with fancy yellow, green or pink sapphires or with semiprecious coloured stones. However, plain strands or a single South Sea or Japanese Akoya pearl on an 18K gold chain are always in demand.

Chow Tai Fook operates 31 shops in Hong Kong and 35 on the Chinese mainland. Its jewellery carries the company's CTF brand. A new brand name, Treasure, has been introduced for the younger market.

Known for high-quality, handmade jewellery, Hong Kong Universal Jewellery Ltd creates just 25-30 pearl pieces per month, representing 5-10% of its total output of diamond and gemset jewellery.

"With pearl prices becoming more reasonable, we plan to make more. Most of what we do is antique-style, but we're adding more contemporary designs," says manager Kevin Lee.

The company's best-selling range is US$500-1,800 per piece FOB Hong Kong. Ready buyers also appear for more elaborate, unique items at up to US$120,000. Single strands of Japanese Akoya or South Sea pearls can range from US$50,000-80,000. Mountings are typically in platinum 950 or 18K white gold, and all pieces are made in Hong Kong.

"We produce dressy evening wear and daily wear. Our solitaire pearl rings do well," Lee says. The company specialises in four-piece sets.

Established in 1949, Hong Kong Universal Jewellery exports mainly to Japan, the US and the United Arab Emirates. Minimum orders are negotiable, with delivery four weeks after confirmation.


Contact Details

Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Co Ltd
4/F, World Peace Centre
41-55 Wo Tong Tsui St
Kwai Chung
New Territories, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2610-8103
Fax: 852-2840-0155
E-mail: enquiry@chowtaifook.com

Hong Kong Universal Jewellery Ltd
4/F, Lynhurst Bldg
25-41 Lyndhurst Terrace
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2541-3004
Fax: 852-2541-5026
E-mail: hkujltd@netvigator.com

Maxim Jewellery Co
Rm 1001-3
Lane Crawford House
70 Queen's Rd Central
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2524-6712
Fax: 852-2868-4154
E-mail: maxim@netvigator.com

Profit Gem Int'l Ltd
Rm 807, Blk A
Focal Ind Centre
21 Man Lok St, Hung Hom
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2765-6877
Fax: 852-2765-6998
E-mail: profitgem@profitgem.com.hk

Rio Pearl
3/F, Front Blk, 39 Mody Rd
Tsim Sha Tsui
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2723-7676
Fax: 852-2367-5169
E-mail: info@riopearl.com

Sunny Creations Ltd
Rms 1003-4, Hilder Centre
2 Sung Ping St, Hung Hom
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2334-6837
Fax: 852-2764-0081
E-mail: info@sunnycreations.com.hk

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