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Treasures Of The Sea(HKTDC Jewellery, Vol 02,2002)

Vol.2 2002

Product Features

Beautiful Hue
Coloured Diamond Jewellery

Treasures Of The Sea
Pearl Jewellery

Enduring Magic
Jade Jewellery

Treasures Of The Sea

Pearl Jewellery

The elegance of these flower brooches and cocktail rings, set with diamonds and natural white and treated black Chinese freshwater pearls, is matched by a modern black-and-white diamond necklace graced with three Chinese freshwater pearls, all fashioned by A-1 Jewelry Mfy Ltd.

IF it is true that a woman cannot have too many diamonds, the same may apply to pearls. Hong Kong manufacturers take these gifts from the sea and transform them into jewellery treasures.

Delicate butterfly and flower brooches in 14-18K gold with sumptuous South Sea or Tahitian pearl centrepieces attract attention to Rio Pearl, which has been in business since 1983.

"It is more of a feminine look," says manager Regina Yeung. "Diamond accents have always been de rigueur with pearls, but today's newer looks include fancy-coloured sapphires and diamond settings."

Prices for South Sea pearl jewellery are US$500-20,000 FOB Hong Kong, but can be less if Akoya pearls are substituted.

The company produces 2,000-5,000 items of pearl jewellery per month, usually by subcontracting to factories in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland.

The US, Japan and Taiwan are Rio Pearl's main markets. Minimum order is 1-2 pieces for South Sea pearl jewellery and 10-20 pieces for Akoya items. Shipment is four weeks after order confirmation.

Rio Pearl operates as a private label supplier, maintaining an inventory of 6,000-7,000 designs. "We might make only 2-3 pieces for very unusual designs, but larger numbers if the demand is there," Yeung says.

Another pearl jewellery specialist, Arcadia Jewellery Ltd, covers all bases with white and golden South Sea pearls, Tahitian pearls and Chinese freshwater and cultured (Akoya) pearls set in 14-18K white or yellow gold.

"Tahitian and South Sea pearls are quite popular, especially with prices of Tahitian pearls more affordable than several years ago," says Denise Yu, assistant general manager at the three-year-old firm.

Today's fashion-oriented designs trigger demand for pearl jewellery. "The previous image of pearls was that they were not that fashionable, but now younger women like buying pearl jewellery, especially if the designs are modern," observes Yu.

The rule seems to be fewer pearls. "Simple and clean designs with just 2-3 pearls are popular," Yu says. "Blending semiprecious stones with pearls and diamonds is also a new style trend."

Double-duty items are becoming popular. "We make necklaces with detachable drop centrepieces that can also be brooches. We do the same with earrings. It makes end-users feel what they buy is more valuable," says Yu.

Arcadia makes 1,000 items of pearl jewellery per month at its two factories in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland. Prices start at US$30 FOB Hong Kong for items with Chinese freshwater and cultured (Akoya) pearls and US$100 for those featuring South Sea and Tahitian pearls.

Minimum order is 6-12 pieces for Chinese freshwater and cultured pearl jewellery and 3-6 pieces for South Sea and Tahitian pearls. Shipment is 2-5 weeks after order confirmation, depending on quantity.

At A-1 Jewelry Mfy Ltd, contemporary ring and earring sets in 14K gold set with Chinese freshwater pearls and diamonds are a top draw. Each set costs about US$200 FOB Hong Kong.

In business since 1995, this company produces 200-300 pieces of pearl jewellery per month, about 25% of its output of 9-18K gemset fine jewellery.

"Most of what we do is OEM, but we also have some private-label customers," says purchasing manager Cindy Li. On average, the jewellery costs US$80-150 per piece FOB Hong Kong.

Pearls and diamonds are a classic combination, but dramatic contrast is gained by adding black diamonds to popular pearl, diamond and white gold mixes.

A-1 Jewelry subcontracts production to a factory in Panyu on the Chinese mainland and exports mainly to the US. It plans to expand in other markets. There is no minimum order requirement, and shipments follow order confirmation by about three weeks.

At 20-year-old Bay's Gem & Pearl Co Ltd, pearl strands made from top-quality 11-13mm round Chinese freshwater pearls are best sellers, costing US$180-2,800 FOB Hong Kong per strand.

"Large, white Chinese freshwater pearls are our most popular item," says managing director Catherine Liu.

The company offers natural white, peach and multi-coloured pearls, plus treated silver-grey and peacock colours, in 14-18K gold settings. "Europeans prefer natural colours, but US customers buy both natural and treated varieties," Liu says.

The company also has white and golden South Sea pearls, Tahitian pearls and Akoyas. "We supply all kinds of pearls and produce jewellery for all ages," says Liu.

One new line has bracelets and necklaces for girls as young as five years. These pieces are set with 3-3.5mm Chinese freshwater pearls and coloured Swarovski crystals. Each set is less than US$10 FOB Hong Kong.

Plans call for necklaces, bracelets, earrings and pendants, set with 6.5-7mm Chinese freshwater pearls and semiprecious stones, aimed at teenagers. Two-piece sets would sell at promotional prices of US$6-20 FOB Hong Kong.

Bay's Gem & Pearl has 500 workers producing 1,000kg of pearl jewellery per month at its factory on the Chinese mainland. Minimum order value is US$3,000, with shipment after 1-4 weeks, depending on quantity.

Written By Andrea Pawlyna

Contact Details

A-1 Jewelry Mfy Ltd
4/F, Unit 29, Blk B
Focal Ind Centre
21 Man Lok St, Hung Hom
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2385-2626
Fax: 852-2385-2559
E-mail: info@a-1jewelry.com

Arcadia Jewellery Ltd
21/F, Railway Plaza
39 Chatham Rd South
Tsim Sha Tsui
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2317-5300
Fax: 852-2317-5243
E-mail: mktg@man-sang.com

Bay's Gem & Pearl Co Ltd
Rms 206-7, Kowloon Centre
29-39 Ashley Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2376-0855
Fax: 852-2376-2156
E-mail: baysgem@hkstar.com

Int'l Pearl Co
Rm 1215, New East Ocean Centre
9 Science Museum Rd
Tsim Sha Tsui East
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2301-1968
Fax: 852-2739-1238
E-mail: jewelry@international-pearl.com

Regent Jewellery & Gift Mfg Ltd
13/F, Rm 06, Multifield Plaza
3 Prat Ave, Tsim Sha Tsui
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2366-1098
Fax: 852-2366-2161
E-mail: info@regenthk.com

Rio Pearl
3/F, Front Blk, 39 Mody Rd
Tsim Sha Tsui
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2723-7676
Fax: 852-2367-5169
E-mail: riopearl@netvigator.com

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