3 Sept 2007
Stunning Shapes(HKTDC Jewellery, Vol 02,2007)
|A circle motif necklace in 18K white gold comes from Chase Jewellery Mfy Ltd|
Jewellery collections that celebrate particular themes have always been fondly regarded by connoisseurs
Consumers have long been drawn to jewellery flowers, animals or even geometric symbols because they can personally relate to the design, ensuring constant demand worldwide.
Hong Kong manufacturer Abba Jewellery (Mfg) Ltd has capitalised on the trend with a growing collection of brooches, rings and earrings featuring animals or other living creatures that includes stylised 18K white gold geckos, frogs, scorpions and poodles set with a variety of precious and semiprecious gems.
"We have four designs now and we're adding more," says business control manager Mandy Ho. "People like them because they're different and they're fashionable."
Priced from US$405-710 FOB Hong Kong per piece, the 10-year-old company's most popular items cost US$350-10,000 - although some cost up to US$30,000 each.
Abba Jewellery produces a comprehensive range of diamond and gemset jewellery in 14K and 18K gold and platinum, which it exports to the US (70%), EU (20%) and Asia (10%).
Twenty per cent of the 3,000 pieces the firm manufactures each month at its factory in Panyu on the Chinese mainland consists of themed, or character, collections.
"Flower jewellery is popular but animals are even better," Ho claims. "We're trying to develop designs for bigger animals, such as bears and dolphins, as it's more fun to design jewellery that's based on living things."
She says that Abba generally has a minimum order requirement of three pieces per style, although a single piece can be ordered if it is a large item. "Delivery is normally 3-4 weeks after order confirmation, but the time frame can be reduced to two weeks for rush orders," Ho adds.
Unique designs and materials in contemporary European styles characterise the animal motif collections from Diamond Tree Ltd, which offers largely handmade rings, earrings and bangles in 18K white or yellow gold that are supplied in limited editions priced from US$1,500-2,500 FOB Hong Kong per piece.
One ring features a monkey's head made of white agate with tsavorite eyes, while another is a ruby-eyed panther carved out of ebony wood. "Some are cute and cuddly, and many are one-of-a-kind," explains company spokesman Dennis Chung. "We like to use a lot of different kinds of stones and we try to pick what suits the design."
Nine-year-old Diamond Tree was the recipient of the first and second runner-up awards in the Professional Category of the 2006 International Jewelry Design Innovation Competition, organised by the Hong Kong Jewelry Manufacturers' Association. "Minimum order is 5-6 pieces per style, with delivery 4-6 weeks after order confirmation," Chung adds.
Industry veteran Chase Jewellery Mfy Ltd's pastel-coloured gemstones mingle with diamonds in floral-themed 18K gold collections. "We're doing pieces with a greater range of colour and with lots of different cuts - triangular, oval, pear, and marquise," maintains William Li, director of the 21-year-old firm. "They make the jewellery more interesting."
Tourmaline, pink sapphire, peridot, aquamarine and amethyst are combined with rubies and sapphires in true eclectic fashion, with most of the 1,000 rings, earrings, pendants, necklaces and bracelets produced each month at Chase's mainland factory in Shunde destined for the US.
Prices range from US$200-2,500 FOB Hong Kong per piece for minimum orders of five pieces per style delivered three weeks after order confirmation.
"We concentrate on the middle and upper range because there is more demand for quality," says Li, adding that the EU and Russia are Chase's other export markets.
Nature was the inspiration behind sterling silver jewellery manufacturer Yan Wa Jewellery Co Ltd's collection of pendants, rings and brooches featuring flowers, insects, snakes, birds and food.
One of the company's most unusual products, a corn-on-the-cob pendant, is fashioned out of yellow mother-of-pearl. "We wanted an environmental theme," explains marketing manager Mandy Yim.
She adds that Yan Wa's pieces are priced from US$3-43 FOB Hong Kong each and sell well in Russia, Europe, Australia and South Africa. "A new collection of sterling silver earrings emphasises geometry, focusing on shapes such as circles, loops and squares," Yim says.
The 24-year-old firm's sterling silver jewellery is plated with a thick layer of rhodium to give it a long-lasting shine, and, while some pieces are plain silver, others are set with CZ, mother-of-pearl or imitation turquoise. "People seem to want softer colours today, nothing too colourful," Yim adds.
Yan Wa's 200 workers in Chaozhou on the mainland produce 15,000 pieces of sterling silver jewellery per month, available in minimum orders of 30 pieces per style shipped 3-4 weeks after order confirmation. "ODM accounts for virtually all of our production, including the 70% of items which carry our own Lucky brand," Yim reveals.
Given the avid interest in motif collections, it seems that Hong Kong jewellery manufacturers have an incentive to create many more colourful and attractive figurines in future.
Diamond Tree Ltd
18 Sung On St
Hung Hom, Kowloon