1 Sept 2006
Platium Jewellery(HKTDC Jewellery, Vol 02,2006)
|Deep pink sapphires contrast with platinum leaf overlays lasered onto underlying prongs in this classic platinum-and-diamond ring and earring set from Goldiaq Creation Ltd|
Rarer and more expensive than gold, platinum's silvery sheen has long had an undeniable and irresistible appeal all its own. Its cool understated colour makes it a perfect match for diamonds, although many companies are going beyond that traditional pairing to offer livelier colour combinations.
For example, strong geometric designs with princess-cut and round diamonds in invisible settings are a successful recipe for Five Star Jewellery Mfr Ltd's bold men's and women's platinum-and-diamond jewellery.
However, while diamonds are the favoured accompaniment to the company's 900 platinum jewellery creations, sales administrator Tammy Lui says natural yellow and treated blue diamonds are occasionally substituted.
Platinum jewellery accounts for about 15% of the four-year-old company's total jewellery production, which also includes sterling silver and 14K and 18K gold. "We would like to produce more platinum jewellery," Lui admits.
Prices for men's and women's platinum-and-diamond rings range from US$6,000-10,000 FOB Hong Kong, with bracelets costing about US$10,000 each.
No minimum order is necessary and the OEM firm delivers 2-3 weeks after order confirmation to such markets as the US, Europe, Japan and Taiwan.
Platinum jewellery with lasered overlays is a strong seller at Goldiaq Creation Ltd. "This technique makes the jewellery look more unusual," claims managing director Bronia Yip.
She explains that a 900 or 950 platinum ring set with gemstones would have a second platinum design added on top, with the extra piece permanently attached to the prongs underneath that hold the stones in place.
While the white look achieved by combining platinum-and-diamonds is still in demand, the eight-year-old company has struck out in a more colourful direction.
"We're going away from totally white, and 80% of our platinum jewellery now uses coloured stones," Yip reveals. "We might use pink or blue sapphires, green and pink tourmaline and sometimes tanzanite on our platinum pieces."
Jewellery designs at the ODM/OBM firm, which turns out 4,000-6,000 pieces per month at its factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland, run the gamut from classic to fashionable.
The Goldiaq brand is carried on about 30% of the jewellery produced by the company, whose ratio of commercial pieces to high-end, luxury goods is about 60:40.
A typical women's 900 platinum ring with 50 or more small 1.5-2mm blue sapphires and 30 diamonds sells for about US$500-1,000 FOB Hong Kong per piece.
No minimum order is required and delivery is 3-4 weeks after order confirmation to Goldiaq's main export markets in the US, Europe, the Middle East and Japan.
Meanwhile, B K Jewellery is currently producing an interesting range of men's platinum-and-diamond jewellery that has dashing style. "It's very manly," maintains marketing manager Celia Ho. "Men in the US like it because they wear big jewellery."
Strong geometric lines, especially squares and rectangles, characterise many of the designs that have row upon row of star or melee princess-cut diamonds in invisible settings.
A typical man's platinum-and-diamond ring sells for US$1,500-4,000 FOB Hong Kong, while a similarly-styled bracelet costs from US$8,000-40,000.
Invisible settings are the norm and micro-pavm is an up-and-coming trend, although Ho admits that men's designs represent just a "tiny portion" of B K Jewellery's total platinum jewellery production.
She says women's rings and pendants are the company's best-selling platinum jewellery items. "Small items do best because platinum is so expensive," Ho explains. "For bigger pieces, such as necklaces, people prefer 18K white gold."
Platinum is combined with diamonds, but occasionally rubies, emeralds, tanzanite or blue, yellow or pink sapphires are used to add a splash of colour.
The OEM firm has no minimum order requirement and produces 5,000-6,000 pieces of platinum and 14K and 18K gold jewellery at its mainland factory in Shunde each month.
Platinum jewellery represents about 10% of that amount and is delivered 2-4 weeks after order confirmation to export markets in Canada, the US, Australia, the Middle East, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Once popular only in Japan, platinum jewellery has become a symbol of status worldwide and remains an eye-catching testament to the precious metal's enduring beauty.
WRITTEN BY DIERDRE LE GRACE
Five Star Jewellery Mfr Ltd
Rms 701-2, 7/F
2 Sung Ping St
Hung Hom, Kowloon