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News

  1. Q1 Gold Jewellery Demand Soft, Says WGC
  2. Jewellery Buying Groups Formed New Global Alliance
  3. Singapore to Host Jewellery & Gem World 2022
  4. ‘Wonder Woman’ Gal Gadot Premiered in Tiffany’s 2022 High Jewellery Collection
  5. Christie’s to Auction ‘The Light of Africa’ for $18M in June
  6. New Board of Directors were elected to Jewellery Exporters Association of Turkey
  7. Oroarezzo back with Première Competition
  8. ‘De Beers Blue’ auctions US$57.5M at Sotheby’s
  9. CTF launches Mother’s Day collection
  10. Jewelers of America Announces The 2022 CASE Award Winners
  11. De Beers: Diamond Businesses Staying Cautious About Business Expectations
  12. Synthetic Alexandrite Pioneer David Patterson Dies at 89
  13. 205 CARAT FANCY INTENSE YELLOW DIAMOND GENEVA MAGNIFICENT JEWELS | 11 MAY 2022
  14. Rebecca Foerster Appointed As President of Hearts On Fire
  15. US Steps Up Sanctions Against Alrosa
  16. PGI Study Findings: Consumers Have Different Interpretations of Sustainability
  17. Irving Wong Appointed as Pandora’s General Manager For China
  18. Rolex’s 6 New Watches Unveiled at Watches & Wonders Geneva
  19. Sixième Sens par Cartier High Jewellery: Heteractis Ring
  20. Will Russian Diamond Ban Help Foster Lab-Grown Diamond Business?
  21. Press Release: Ariana DeBose, Hunter Schafer and Zoey Deutch Shine in De Beers Jewellers at the Vani
  22. Press Release: Ariana DeBose, Hunter Schafer and Zoey Deutch Shine in De Beers Jewellers at the Vani
  23. JEWELLERY GENEVA Takes Place between 30 March and 3 April 2022
  24. Christie’s Presents 228 carat White Dimond
  25. Gold Bar Integrity Programme to be Implemented
  26. Press Release: BONHAMS ANNOUNCES ACQUISITION OF BRUUN RASMUSSEN AUCTIONEERS – DENMARK’S LEADING AUCT
  27. Early Spring Fashion for Natural Diamonds
  28. Jennifer Garner Shines in De Beers Jewellers at the Premiere in New York
  29. To celebrate its 15th anniversary, “Cartier Women’s Initiative Impact Report”
  30. American Gem Trade Association Announces Partnership with JCK Show Again
  31. Chow Tai Fook and Canada's Mountain Province Diamonds Sign Supply Agreement
  32. Registration Is Open for 2022 JCK Show
  33. Alrosa Caught Up in U.S. Sanctions
  34. Tawhid Abdullah Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
  35. The Largest Blue Diamond Appears at Sotheby’s Auction
  36. Price Rise for Nearly 90% Of Fancy Colour Last Year
  37. Dickson Yewn’s Collectibles Given for Sotheby’s Charity Auction
  38. De Beers Boosts Production
  39. Watches & Wonders Geneva To Be Held In Hybrid Format
  40. Jewellery, Gem & Technology Dubai to Debut February
  41. Hong Kong Losing its Dominance as the World's Largest Watch Market
  42. Gift Guide for CNY
  43. Press Release: Sotheby’s Announces New Appointments To Luxury Team In ASsia
  44. Georg Jensen Becomes a Certified Member of RJC
  45. 555.55-carat Black Dimond Unveiled at Sotheby’s Auction
  46. GIA Appoints Anna Martin as SVP for Institute, Industry Relations
  47. Alrosa Boosts Direct Sales of Fancy Diamonds to Investors
  48. CIBJO General Assembly postponed to March 17 and 18, 2022
  49. 7,525 Carat Emerald Discovered
  50. Karl Lagerfeld Jewellery Collections to Shine
  51. Diamonds Travel To The Space
  52. Vicenzaoro January postponed to March
  53. America’s Youngest Jeweller Starts Business via Instagram
  54. Concerns over conflict gold arise again
  55. The 1st International Gemstone & Diamond Trade Summit Wraps Up in Macao
  56. The Knot’s Study:Over 30% of Respondents Say Natural Diamond Unimportant
  57. Pantone’s 2022 Colour of the Year: Very Peri
  58. Phillips Jewellery Auctions Fetch over HK$181 Million
  59. The World’s First Pure Gold Castle of Magical Dreams by CHOW TAI FOOK
  60. Jewellery Sales Jumped 78% During the Thanksgiving Holiday
  61. Gem Auctions DMCC’s Debut Auction Successful
  62. Cartier’s Christmas Tree Lights Up the City with Love and Hope
  63. Rediscovering Lacloche in Hong Kong
  64. Blue diamonds to lead Christie’s HK autumn sale
  65. JMA show to stage next Thursday
  66. HK auction to help Cambodian kids
  67. Basel fair cancelled again
  68. HKDI show to continue in Dec
  69. Gemfields sells 7,500-carat emerald for good
  70. Sustainability is key to diamond purchases, a report says
  71. Christie’s Geneva jewellery sale fetches CHF53.7m
  72. Cibjo forms working group on fei cui standards
  73. Only Watch raises CHF30m for DMD research
Read More...


HIGHLIGHT

  1. US market unfolds changes and potential
  2. The queen of gems, the gem of queens
  3. Classics return

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  • Cultivating Hong Kong’s akoya pearls
  • The lustrous pearls grown in Hong Kong
  • Preparing Metakaku® nuclei for cultivation
  • Education is essential to rejuvenate the traditional industry.

Pearler sees future beyond pearls

Established in 1990, Hong Kong’s Fukui Shell Nucleus Factory is a major global manufacturer and supplier of pearl nucleus. In April 2014, the company ventured into akoya pearl cultivation in the Hong Kong area. Project director David Wong shares with Hong Kong Jewellery the latest on local pearling activities, his aspirations to do more for the value chain of the pearl industry in Hong Kong and his interest in moving beyond pearls.

Approximately 60,000 pearl oysters were cultivated in the sea located near Sai Kung West Country Park in Hong Kong in 2018. According to Wong, this represents a 100-fold increase over the previous amount of 500 shells.

“During the April harvest last year, the output rate was over 65 percent. We suffered losses due to the typhoons last year. But it remained a good investment for us thanks to our business model,” Wong said. He believes unpredictable weather makes the outlook uncertain.

Besides uncertainties caused by the weather, Wong said that the company’s pearling activities face a number of other challenges. These include the lack of government support for non-IT related business innovation, relatively long waits for startups to see a return on investment (ROI), and the need to undertake promotions and public education in house.

Hong Kong is widely recognised as a global hub for pearl trading, but few people know about the city’s long history with pearls, dating back some 1,500 years. “Only in the 1950s with the support of the Japanese did Hong Kong begin pearl cultivation. The government also fully supported this development by enforcing laws that favoured the industry. Nevertheless, in the 1960s the industry began to shrink. According to the late industry guru Ho Pak To, a pioneer of pearl cultivation in Hong Kong in the 1950s, it would have been beneficial for Hong Kong to grow its own pearls,” Wong said.

After almost five years of cultivation, Wong said the understanding and knowledge of pearl farming in Hong Kong remains limited. He admitted that pearl farming in itself is not an appealing business venture. It is highly risky and very difficult, and there is no immediate ROI. “Efforts to develop an interest in and promote an understanding of pearl farming must go beyond discussions of buying and selling and appeals to traditional notions of seeing pearls as personal adornment,” he added.

Technology is a tool that can make pearl farming more understandable to the public and the trade, Wong believes. The pearl authentication technology Metakaku® developed by Fukui is an example how this works. This technology ensures the authenticity of pearls by tracking their life cycles in a non-destructive way using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology  to identify the self-developed nucleus. For customers, this process adds emotional value to the pearls by ensuring that every pearl is unique with its own story that can be traced along the supply chain.

“RFID is merely a medium enabling the pearl to communicate. We hope to understand its significance from other perspectives,” said Wong. “For example, we are exploring how RFID technology can enhance the value chain and encourage Hong Kong to become more than just a pearl trading hub. We want to build our industry, bringing the focus back to Hong Kong and making Hong Kong the new leader of the global cultured pearl industry. We seek ways to work with the government to make our industry in Hong Kong a benchmark for genuine innovation and sustainable development,” he elaborated.

David Wong sees fierce competitions in the pearl industry in 2019. “There are over 30 local brands that design and sell pearl jewellery and accessories in Hong Kong. Add to these a growing number of foreign brands coming to the city because it offers a window to mainland China, and I would say competition for traditional markets is going to be huge and intense. The year 2019 will rattle those who have a weak foundation or rely on luck,” he said.

Wong revealed that in 2019 Fukui Shell Nucleus Factory will focus on increasing the exposure of pearls through various cross-industry activities. The company is also looking for opportunities to develop applications of the Metakaku® technology for industries outside of the pearl sector. (Photo courtesy: Fukui Shell Nucleus Factory)

 

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