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Sapphire Jewellery(HKTDC Jewellery, Vol 02,2003)

Vol.2 2003



Product Features

Sapphire Jewellery
Stunning Stones

Pendants & Brooches
Sparkling In The Spotlight

Wedding Rings
Ringing The Changes

Sapphire Jewellery

Stunning Stones

This breathtaking 18-karat white gold necklace from Universal Jewellery Co Ltd with matching ring (top) is the ideal companion for the exotic sapphire and diamond matched ring and earring set, also in 18-karat white gold

Sapphires have a long and illustrious history as gemstones - a favourite of royalty, and said to possess magical powers, this vibrantly blue stone has had many admirers through the ages.

But that's only the beginning of the story as the sapphire's full spectrum of colours - yellow, pink, green and orange-pink - has recently captured the public's fancy. Jewellery manufacturers have been quick to capitalise on the growing appreciation for this precious stone in all of its colourful incarnations.

The focus at Kwong's Art Jewellery Trading Co Ltd is on designs that stand the test of time. "We concentrate on classic designs and play with straight lines and curves," declares marketing manager Penniff Tso. "We don't do fashion-oriented jewellery."

The firm generally pairs its Thai sapphires with diamonds, but on occasion may add pink sapphires for a non-traditional look. Designs are created with the under-30 woman in mind and, as a result, prices are more affordable, ranging from US$50-1,000 per piece FOB Hong Kong.

"We use a lot of small stones to keep the price point lower and the pieces are lighter in weight," Tso says. Settings are in 9-, 10-, 14- or 18-karat white or yellow gold, although white gold is still predominant.

The 20-year-old firm manufactures 10,000 pieces of European-style diamond and precious stone jewellery per month, with sapphire jewellery representing 10-20% of that total.

Minimum order is six pieces per style, with shipments to markets in the US, Europe and Southeast Asia leaving 3-4 weeks after order confirmation.

"We are planning to increase our production of jewellery with sapphires, as well as rubies, in response to growing interest in coloured stones," Tso says.

Rings and earrings with sapphires from India and Thailand are the best-selling types of sapphire jewellery at Front Top Jewelry Mfr Ltd, accounting for 40% of the company's total sales. Half are sales of blue sapphire jewellery, with the rest yellow, green and pink sapphire sets.

The firm's youthful designs are aimed at women 20-40 years of age who live in the company's main export markets of North and South America and Europe. Blue sapphires combined with diamonds in 18-karat white gold are a time-honoured tradition at Front Top; however the 10-year-old OEM supplier also produces pieces with yellow sapphires and diamonds or blue and yellow sapphires.

All production takes place at the company's factory in Shunde on the Chinese mainland, which employs 100-200 workers. Prices range from US$100-1,000 FOB Hong Kong per piece, but necklaces sell for more than US$1,000.

Minimum order requirement is three ring and earring sets, although rings and earrings may be purchased separately for bulk orders. Shipments leave 2-4 weeks after order confirmation.

Bigger is better when it comes to sapphires from Gold Field Co Mfg Ltd. "We use 1.5-3 carat sapphires from Sri Lanka," explains general manager Fanny Cheng.

Prices for its sapphire and diamond jewellery sets start at US$30,000 FOB Hong Kong, while per piece prices range from US$2,500-25,000. Sales of sapphire jewellery have risen slightly over the past year as coloured stones, particularly precious stones, have begun to make a modest comeback in the face of strong competition from diamond jewellery.

Gold Field has also introduced a more affordable line of coloured sapphire jewellery for younger women in their twenties during the past year. "We use yellow, green or pink sapphires in small sizes for rings, earrings and brooches," says Cheng. Prices for a ring, for example, range from US$600-1,500.

The OEM/ODM company prefers classic oval-cut sapphires for their sparkle and ease of cutting over other styles. Its higher-end jewellery is made in Hong Kong, while less expensive items are manufactured at its mainland factory in Panyu.

Gold Field exports minimum order values of not less than US$2,000 to the US, Europe, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Delivery time after order confirmation is 10 working days if stock is on hand; 15 days otherwise.

Universal Jewellery Design Center Ltd knows what women 25-50 years of age like in classic sapphire and diamond jewellery. Set in 900 platinum or 18-karat white gold, its European-style jewellery features Sri Lankan or Myanmar sapphires, usually 1-20 carats in size.

Prices can run to more than US$100,000 FOB Hong Kong per piece, but the most saleable range is from US$8,000-18,000 per piece.

The company launched a new line of fashion-oriented, lower-priced coloured sapphire jewellery in 2000. "We use blue, pink or yellow sapphires and pearls, usually two colours per piece, in small pendants, rings or brooches," says director Danny Kwan.

Minimum order is 10-15 pieces with no minimum for sets. Deliveries to the US, Europe, the Middle East and Asia depart six weeks after order confirmation.

Some 30% of the 1,000 pieces of fine jewellery the 53-year-old company manufactures per month is handmade in Hong Kong; the remainder is cast jewellery produced at its factory in Panyu.

Stunning settings and wonderful workmanship such as this are certain to see sales soar as canny consumers keep coming back for more sensational sapphire jewellery sets from Hong Kong.

WRITTEN BY ANDREA PAWLYNA

Contact Details

Front Top Jewelry Mfr Ltd
Units 1 & 2, 5/F
Guardforce Centre
3 Hok Yuen St East
Hung Hom, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2367-9001
Fax: 852-2367-9048
Email: fronttop@netvigator.com

Gold Field Co Mfg Ltd
Unit 716, Blk A
Focal Ind Centre
21 Man Lok St
Hung Hom, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2356-9808
Fax: 852-2773-1326
Email: gfc@goldfieldco.com.hk

Kwong's Art Jewellery Trading
Co Ltd
Units 14-16, 2/F, Blk A
Focal Ind Centre
21 Man Lok St
Hung Hom, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2721-6271
Fax: 852-2721-1520
Email: marketing@kwongsartjew.com
Web: www.kwongsartjew.com

Nelson Jewellery Arts Co Ltd
2/F
Guardforce Centre
3 Hok Yuen St East
Hung Hom, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2362-2888
Fax: 852-2764-4028
Email: info@nelson-jewellery.com
Web: www.nelson-jewellery.com

Universal Jewellery Co Ltd
Shop C
New Henry House
8 Des Voeux Rd, Central
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2522-3038
Fax: 852-2868-5375

Universal Jewellery Design Center Ltd
Unit 2, G/F, Blk A
Focal Ind Centre
21 Man Lok St
Hung Hom, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2334-3331
Fax: 852-2764-1581
Email: ujdc@ujdc.com
Web: www.ujdc.com

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