3 March 2005
Motif Jewellery(HKTDC Jewellery, Vol 01,2005)
Capitalising on this strong attraction for all things natural, the Gemtique brand of Aaron Shum Jewelry Ltd looks to nature for inspiration. Butterflies, dragonflies, flowers and fish have each found a place in the more than 500-piece collection, which is mainly set in 14K or 18K white, yellow or rose gold.
"We use semiprecious stones with white, brown and yellow diamonds," says Alice Trinh, sales manager-European market for the 20-year-old firm. "The pieces are very colourful and joyful. It's a young, fresh look that looks natural and feminine."
Among the stones used are rhodolite garnet, amethyst, citrine, peridot, blue topaz and orange topaz. In line with fashion trends, she expects strong demand for yellow-orange-brown colours this year, along with purple and pink and different shades of blue.
Prices range from US$50 FOB Hong Kong for a flower pendant to US$10,000 for a necklace. "The line sells well in all of our markets, including the Middle East, Europe and the US," adds Trinh. No minimum order amount is required and deliveries are made 4-5 weeks after order confirmation.
Aaron Shum manufactures 10,000 pieces of mostly cast fine jewellery per month at a 150,000-square-foot factory in Shunde on the Chinese mainland that employs 500 workers. About half the factory's output carries the Gemtique brand, while the rest are OEM and private label.
At ACH & Co HK Ltd, animal motifs such as butterflies, fish, dolphins, geckos and dragonflies are popping up on rings, pendants, brooches and earrings.
"We have a small collection of animal motif jewellery," explains account manager Abby Kan. "We're adding more colour because we want to make the pieces more eye-catching."
Kan says animal motifs are "hot" in the US, with butterflies the best seller. "We try to make our animal designs as realistic as possible," she adds. "Black, pink, yellow and blue are currently the most popular colours for this type of motif."
Brooches sell for US$15-40 FOB Hong Kong per piece, and pendants US$12-30 each. ACH & Co specialises in CZ fine fashion jewellery in 9K, 10K and 14K gold and sterling silver, which is sold under its Fabulous Z brand and includes the animal motif collection. The company also produces a line of semiprecious stone jewellery in sterling silver under its J. Lilly brand.
ACH & Co manufactures more than 225,000 pieces of cast jewellery per month at its two factories in Panyu on the mainland, which employ more than 1,000 workers. Minimum order is 100 pieces per design, or a minimum order value of US$10,000. Delivery time is six weeks after order confirmation.
Buyers seeking a one-of-a-kind leopard, lion, turtle or bird should check out John Chan Jewellery Ltd, which makes handmade, custom-designed pieces.
The company's creations in 18K gold and stylised designs that evoke an earlier era are set with diamonds and precious or semiprecious stones. "I love designing antique, European-style jewellery," enthuses John Chan, designer and managing director of the 24-year-old company. "My designs show the speed and sleekness of animals."
His jewellery sells for US$1,000-3,850 per piece FOB Hong Kong, and he reports that animal motif brooches have been selling well over the past couple of years. "Bracelets and necklaces are also available in animal motifs," he adds.
Chan designs primarily for women over 30 years of age and exports mainly to the US, particularly Texas. All his jewellery is produced by a handful of master craftsmen in Hong Kong and is available in minimum orders of five pieces per model shipped 30 days after order confirmation.
Classic European styling is evident in the rings, earrings and pendants in butterfly, bee and dragonfly shapes from Polaris Jewellery Mfr Ltd. About 10% of the 20,000 pieces of 8K to 18K gemset fine gold jewellery produced by the company each month comes under the heading of animal motif jewellery, in designs that range from realistic to humorous.
"We don't make that many animal styles - about 50 designs - but our sales have been steady," claims spokeswoman Penny Cheng. The 25-year-old company offers two lines - a deluxe series that features better quality diamonds and gemstones, and a more competitively priced alternative.
The company, whose biggest export market is the US, accepts minimum orders of five pieces with delivery four weeks after order confirmation.
Soon to be granted ISO 9001 certification, Polaris is in the process of expanding its mainland factory operation in Panyu. "We want to double our size - we have 600 workers now and we hope to have more than 1,000," Cheng adds.
Obviously, nature is a perennial winner for Hong Kong jewellery manufacturers renowned for doing their best to meet customers' diverse needs.
WRITTEN BY BRIDGET JAMES
John Chan Jewellery Ltd