|Saturday, 5 March 2016, 16:30 HKT/SGT|
|Experts say Brand Development, Traditional Designs and Quality Craftsmanship are Hallmarks of Valuable Gold Jewellery|
HONG KONG, Mar 5, 2016 - (ACN Newswire) - With a long and glorious history, gold jewellery has maintained its strong appeal due to the value of the precious metal and exquisite designs of jewellery pieces crafted from "pure gold" or "chuk kam" in Chinese. The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) hosted a seminar (3 March) on "Brand Establishment of Chuk Kam Jewellery" during the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show, which is underway at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). The seminar invited four industry experts to share their insights on how traditional craftsmanship can increase the value of modern-day gold jewellery.
|From left: Chow Ka-keung, Chairman of The Gemmological Association of Hong Kong (GAHK), Max Lam, Research member of the Project of Gold Working Techniques of Ancient China, Evert deGraeve, Co-Founder of the International Association of Jewellery Merchandize Planning Professionals (IAJMPP), and Kevin Ng, Chairman of Hong Kong International Jewellery Designer Association take part in the seminar on 3 March|
Development of Chinese and Western gold jewellery
Under the theme of "Gold Jewellery: Ancient, the Period and the Modern", Chow Ka-keung, Chairman of The Gemmological Association of Hong Kong (GAHK), explained how gold jewellery designs have changed over the years. Mr Chow says every era adds its unique style to gold Jewellery designs. "Ancient Egyptians were already equipped with knowledge on wire drawing, hammering, embossing, inlaying, sculpting, and molding 4,000 years ago. During this time the most recognisable archaeological achievement would be the golden mask shroud for Pharaoh of Egypt King Tutankhamen," Mr Chow said.
He added, "On the other hand, there is archaeological evidence of gold and silver trading in Ancient Chinese eras. Approximately 3,000 years ago, the amount of gold mining was vast. Royalty then started to treat gold and silver as a symbol of wealth and power. During the period from the Tang Dynasty to Yuan Dynasty, gold craftwork adapted sequin weaving and delicate gold plating skills as well."
The development of Western gold jewellery was also blossoming at the same time. Mr Chow noted that Ancient Greeks made gold necklaces, brooches, and earrings; Ancient Rome produced gold coins to be used as currency, whereas Etruscans even manufactured golden fabrics back in 700 BC.
Golden era of Victorian times
Mr Chow explained that, as the Victorian era (1837-1901) enjoyed economic stability and prosperity, along with the rise industrialisation, many jewellery designs displayed a combination of wealth and industrial innovation. Jewellery techniques were further enhanced in Edwardian times (1901-1914), when more complex production techniques impacted on design. Reaching the Art Nouveau period (1890-1910), designs were apparently inspired by nature, with vibrant and with complex structures.
In more modern times, Mr Chow said the ratio of gold in jewellery increased, with less emphasis on design. This was due to gold being seen as a commodity that retains its value, enabling consumers to sell quickly to hedge against inflation if need be. Mr Chow said, "the situation is slowly changing now; gold is no longer the main cost of the price. Design, production, brand and trade costs are significantly increasing. Current gold jewellery designs are becoming more innovative, adopting various styles such as realistic, retro, Western, and abstract; to boost the value of gold jewellery."
Enhancing gold accessories' value through traditional design
Research member of the Project of Gold Working Techniques of Ancient China, Max Lam, described Hong Kong and mainland gold jewellery as being focused on value instead of craftsmanship or brand value, such as dragon and phoenix bracelets for weddings. The industry is now considering ways to increase the value of gold jewellery by incorporating traditional craftwork.
Mr Lam said brands such as Cartier began integrating beads into gold Jewellery, while Chow Tai Fook uses filaments, chisel engraving and other traditional techniques. "This not only adds value to the jewellery, it can also promote historical and cultural craftsmanship," Mr Lam explained.
Enhancing the consumer's experience
Kevin Ng, Chairman of Hong Kong International Jewellery Designer Association, highlighted how brands today are actively exploring different channels to showcase the cultural value of gold jewellery and enhance the consumer's experience. For example, jewellery designer Martin Katz designed a "Jewel Suite" in New York; an international brand collaboration with Taipei National Palace Museum in 2012.
Co-Founder of the International Association of Jewellery Merchandize Planning Professionals (IAJMPP), Evert deGraeve, says craftsmanship can be an important tool to enrich a brand, "moreover, brand DNA can also be stimulated through various promotional channels, including social media platforms, newspapers, and celebrity endorsements," he said.
The 33rd Hong Kong International Jewellery Show (3-7 March) at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre ends on Monday.
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The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong's trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via trade publications, research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn.
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Topic: Trade Show or Conference
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