8 Sept 2004
Ruby Jewellery(HKTDC Jewellery, Vol 02,2004)
Bangles & Bracelets
|John Chan Jewellery Ltd's handmade ruby and diamond necklace, earring and ring set in 18K yellow gold features the translucent touch of abalone shell in a design style that echoes the Art Deco era|
Down through the ages rubies have had a special place in the pantheon of gemstones, thanks to their fiery red colour, which has symbolised love and passion for countless generations. From the crowns of royalty to the fingers of celebrities, rubies have perennially retained their appeal.
Coupled with diamonds, their beauty stands out all the more as evidenced by the ruby and diamond jewellery in classic, European styles at Gold Field Co Mfg Ltd.
"The trend today for pink and red colours in jewellery has helped sales," says general manager Fanny Cheng. Sets of two, three or four pieces ranging in price from US$5,000-30,000 FOB Hong Kong are the company's best sellers, while individual items sell for US$1,000-5,000 each.
"We have designs for evening wear and some for casual wear," Cheng adds. "Some of our clients want a big look and others prefer medium to small sizes."
Specialising in fine diamond and gemset jewellery, the firm's total production runs to 2,000-3,000 pieces per month. Cast items account for 85% of production, with handmade the remainder.
Cheng notes that while higher end items are crafted in Hong Kong, the bulk of production is handled by the company's 150 workers at its factory in Panyu on the Chinese mainland.
The medium- to-high-end jewellery manufacturer accepts OEM and private label orders, and has a minimum value requirement of US$2,000 per order. Delivery is 10 working days after order confirmation, and major export markets include the US, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Europe.
The smooth look of cabochons has captured the fancy of Artis Jewellery Co Ltd, especially in brooches with a flower motif. "Not too many companies use this type of cut, but our major markets of Europe and Japan like cabochons," explains director Michael Wong. "It makes us a little different."
Graduated colours - from pink to red or yellow to orange - are a developing trend, as are bigger pieces. Eighteen-karat white gold or platinum mountings continue to predominate, but Wong adds that interest in two-tone yellow and white gold and white gold blackened with rhodium ("black gold") is increasing.
Artis focuses on handmade, medium- to-high-end diamond and gemset articles that cost US$1,000-10,000 FOB Hong Kong each. Most of the 300-500 pieces the company turns out each month are one-of-a-kind and sold in upmarket jewellery stores. Seventy per cent carry the firm's Artis brand name, with the rest on an OEM or ODM basis.
All items are manufactured in Hong Kong or Bangkok through local subcontractors, and 40% are brooches. No minimum order requirement applies and delivery is 3-4 weeks after order confirmation.
Art Deco is a favourite style of designer Fok Kwok Wing at John Chan Jewellery Ltd, whose delight in the era's simple, geometric lines is readily apparent in the handful of one-of-a-kind pieces produced by the 23-year-old company's team of 10 Hong Kong craftspeople each month.
Not for him is jewellery that's too dainty or too delicate. "The US is our biggest market and our customers like jewellery that's bigger, chunkier and heavier," Fok maintains.
The popular pink-to-red colour spectrum this year has led to increased demand for pieces with rubies and rubellite, while brighter colours are also selling better than pastels. Prices for the company's necklaces, rings, earrings and brooches range from US$2,000-10,000 per piece FOB Hong Kong.
No minimum order applies and delivery is one week after order confirmation. Both OEM and ODM orders are accepted for the company's jewellery, which, although it has no brand name, places its logo on all its pieces.
The focus at Goldiaq Creation Ltd is on European-style, 18K gold jewellery with semiprecious or precious stones that sells for US$20-2,000 per piece FOB Hong Kong. As a fashionable alternative, a leather cord can be substituted for 18K gold in necklaces and bracelets.
The company's 200 workers at its factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland manufacture 5,000 pieces per month, which are exported to the US, Europe and the Middle East. Animal and butterfly shapes, along with multicoloured looks, have been strong sellers this year.
"We use semiprecious and precious gemstones and mix them together so that the impression is very colourful," explains assistant manager Vanessa Yip.
Lighter shades of red are attracting more interest from Goldiaq Creation's ruby jewellery buyers. "The colour is a bit stronger than pink sapphires," adds Yip of the pastel-like colouring.
Rubies share the limelight at the six-year-old company with green garnet and pink, blue and yellow sapphires, plus amethyst, citrine, blue topaz and peridot.
Minimum order amounts are negotiable, with deliveries made 3-4 weeks after order confirmation. The Goldiaq brand name is also featured on all of the company's OEM and ODM products.
Proving that Hong Kong's versatile jewellery manufacturers offer a competitive edge that's hard to beat when it comes to ruby jewellery in classic styles or up-to-the-minute designs.
WRITTEN BY ANDREA PAWLYNA
Artis Jewellery Co Ltd
28 Queen's Rd East
Gold Field Co Mfg Ltd
Unit 716, Blk A
Focal Ind Centre
21 Man Lok St
Hung Hom, Kowloon
John Chan Jewellery Ltd
20 Queen's Rd Central
Universe Gems & Jewellery Co
Fu Hang Ind Bldg
1 Hok Yuen St East
Hung Hom, Kowloon
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