2 Sept 2005
Silver Jewellery(HKTDC Jewellery, Vol 02,2005)
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|Classic European styling shows in this sterling silver, freshwater pearl and CZ necklace, bangle, ring and brooch set from Wing Wo Hing Jewelry Group Ltd|
Recently, fine jewellery designs combined with affordable prices have made high-quality sterling silver items from Hong Kong jewellery manufacturers even more desirable than ever.
Wing Wo Hing Jewelry Group Ltd, for example, specialises in simple designs in casual or dressy European styles that appeal to all ages. Established in 1981, the company focuses on sterling silver jewellery set with freshwater pearls, but also sells pearl strands and loose pearls.
"We usually use white CZ with our sterling silver jewellery," says marketing manager Wesley Chan, who admits Wing Wo "sometimes" employs coloured CZ, genuine leather or semiprecious stones. "The freshwater pearls in button, round, potato and rice shapes range from 7-8mm in size."
The company's 240,000-square-foot factory in Guangdong Province on the Chinese mainland has a monthly production capacity of 500,000 pieces.
ODM and the company's own Wing Wo Hing Jewelry Group Ltd brand account for 70% of this output, with OEM orders making up the remainder.
Among Wing Wo's best-selling items are three-piece sets (necklace, bracelet and earrings or ring). Single items like a sterling silver ring with a freshwater pearl are priced from US$5-6 per piece FOB Hong Kong for minimum orders of 50 items per style, but can range up to US$60 for a necklace.
"We're developing items with new semiprecious stones combined with pearls because we want to have more variety and colour," Chan explains.
Wing Wo Hing Jewelry Group Ltd delivers "about four weeks" after order confirmation to customers in its main export markets of North America, Europe and Asia.
The US is also a major market for the sterling silver jewellery made by Kai Lam Gemstone Jewellery Co. Set mainly with synthetic stones such as opal, amethyst, kunzite and topaz, the line accounts for half of the 10,000 pieces the company manufactures monthly, with 14K gold jewellery studded with semiprecious stones making up the remainder.
The 19-year-old company's designs tend to be "more casual American- style", reflecting its North, South and Central American and European markets, explains manager Andrew Chan.
"We specialise in fine jewellery designs for sterling silver and in Western-style American jewellery with natural turquoise, onyx and mother-of-pearl," he adds. "We design for both older and younger buyers."
Chan says that US customers generally like jewellery that looks bigger and more elegant, while youthful buyers prefer smaller, lighter pieces.
"Inlay, gemset or a combination of the two are available," he says, adding that Kai Lam is primarily ODM but welcomes OEM orders.
FOB Hong Kong prices range from less than US$10 per piece for a lightweight sterling silver ring to US$10-25 per piece for a bracelet. Minimum order value is US$10,000, delivered four weeks after order confirmation.
Fine jewellery is also a hallmark of Eastwin Int'l Jewellery Ltd, whose fashion expertise is evident from its up-to-the-minute sterling silver jewellery.
The five-year-old company introduces 60 new styles per month set with stones such as CZ, mother-of-pearl, onyx and synthetic opal. "We do casual and dressy styles," says marketing manager Andrew Lau. "Ours is more of a fine jewellery style."
Enamelling combined with CZ is Eastwin's forte. "Some 30% of our products feature enamelling," Lau explains. "When we started, our enamelling was in square or rectangular shapes but now we are doing more interesting shapes like hearts."
Eastwin's 850 workers craft 10,000 pieces per month at Eastwin's mainland factory in Zhongshan for export to Europe, Scandinavia, North and South America, and Australia. "We have recently begun selling to Eastern Europe and hope to expand to Russia," Lau says.
FOB Hong Kong prices range from US$10-30 per item for minimum orders of 120 pieces per style, delivered 45-55 days after order confirmation. "We do sets and individual pieces," Lau adds. "Our most popular items are rings and pendants."
Larger in scale, seven-year-old Jace Group Ltd's 1,400 workers at its mainland factory in Panyu produce 15,000 pieces of rhodium-plated sterling silver jewellery per month.
Customers can choose from designs that feature synthetic or natural semiprecious stones. "We use one or the other, not both in the same piece," says general manager Andrew Lau.
Jace Group's eight Hong Kong designers design 80%-90% of the company's jewellery; with OEM comprising the remaining business, which includes 9-18K gold, brass and stainless steel jewellery.
Europe is the company's top market. "We would like to work with other places, but they have different styles."
Sterling silver rings are priced from US$3-25 per item FOB Hong Kong and necklaces are US$10-40 each for minimum orders of 24 pieces per model, delivered 6-8 weeks after order confirmation.
Silver jewellery's popularity cuts across all age lines, but Lau notes that silver tends to have a seasonal appeal.
"People give more expensive gold jewellery at Christmas, but they like silver jewellery in summer because it is lighter," he believes.
So slip up to Hong Kong and slip into silver jewellery that never goes out of style, whatever the fashion.
WRITTEN BY ANDREA PAWLYNA
Jace Group Ltd
China Hong Kong City, Tower II
33 Canton Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui
Kowloon, Hong Kong
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