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Golden Opportunity

Chic and spacious: GAI’s new showroom  

Chic and spacious: GAI’s
new showroom

 

Hong Kong-based Goldenage International (GAI) has expanded three times in the last three years. The latest move, in March, to a chic new 6,000 square-foot showroom, is believed to be the largest of its kind in Hong Kong.

GAI is a division of Palloys Group, the largest precious metal services group in Australasia. GAI’s core business is producing findings – the parts used to join jewellery together, such as clasps and hooks – which the company manufactures and distributes worldwide. It also does custom design manufacturing (CDM) of high-end jewellery for prestigious brands.

 Low-quantity special designs can be made to order in Hong Kong
 

Low-quantity special designs can be made to order in Hong Kong

In addition, GAI is the home of ABC Bullion Hong Kong, widely recognised as a leading bullion brand in Asia.

With the completion of its acquisition of GAI this year, Palloys gained a presence in the city and a brand name with a 35-year history. The new Hong Kong head office, located in Kowloon, features a state-of-the-art showroom, sales offices, CDM and finishing department.

Quality Promise

Andrew Cochineas 

Andrew Cochineas, Managing Director, Palloys Group

 
“We don’t want to be the biggest, but the best,” said Andrew Cochineas, Palloys Group Managing Director. “Every piece is hand-polished and individually packaged, with the brand’s logo on it. We sell quality, which includes guaranteed precious metal caratage. We bring an international sensibility to Asian production capacity, and present it to the international market.”

Client confidentiality prevents Mr Cochineas from naming customers, but he says that they include the most well-known luxury jewellery brands.

“The new showrooms are evidence of our commitment to service the international jewellery trade,” said Mr Cochineas. “The move not only gives us much more space to showcase our increasing range of findings produced in China, but also helps provide for the growing demand for CDM services.”

 The opening of GAI’s Hong Kong design and manufacture headquarters in March
 

The opening of GAI’s Hong Kong design and manufacture headquarters in March is said to be the largest of its kind

The new CDM department supports GAI’s larger CDM division in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland. Whereas the mainland facility produces for the mass-market, the Hong Kong facility, boasting a custom-built studio for 24 on-site award-winning designers and a team of master jewellers and diamond setters, is specifically geared to smaller scale, high-quality jewellery production.

High-End Production

Mr Cochineas said that this reflects a general trend across the sector. While much of Hong Kong’s jewellery manufacturing has moved to the mainland or offshore in recent decades, buyers are increasingly coming back to Hong Kong for their higher value or bespoke products.

The revolutionary UNIclasp by GAI, launched in June  
The revolutionary UNIclasp by GAI, launched in June 
With high-end jewellery, he explained, labour accounts for very little of the product’s overall cost. “It really does not affect the retail margin that can be gained,” he said. “So the superior design, guaranteed quality and fast turn-around that we can offer in Hong Kong becomes more important. Indeed, this emphasis on quality and speed of turn-around is the reason why we have expanded in Hong Kong.”

This business model particularly suits SMEs, Mr Cochineas continued, because it allows for small-scale production. “We couldn’t shut down a whole production line in China to fill an order for one or two rings. In Hong Kong, we can offer that.

“While our mainland production will continue to concentrate on top-quality findings and larger volume jewellery orders,” he said, “the Hong Kong facility is specifically geared towards smaller runs of high-end custom jewellery for independents across the globe.”

Trade Fairs Pivotal

 Hong Kong International Jewellery Show,
 

More than 74,000 buyers attended the inaugural Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show, and the 31st edition of the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show, in March

Hong Kong’s highly regarded jewellery trade fairs have been pivotal to the company’s growth. At fairs such as the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show, and the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show, both organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, he said that sales have risen by between 55 per cent and 85 per cent – growth Mr Cochineas describes as “unheard of.”

It was at the HKTDC fair in March that GAI launched its new proprietary system, the “revolutionary” UNIclasp, billed as the world’s first one-touch jewellery clasp.

“Hong Kong trade fairs give us an initial introduction to clients we would not otherwise meet, and enable us to establish a relationship of trust with them. There is a great camaraderie among the exhibitors as well. We have found Hong Kong’s trade fairs provide a great entry for building a business.”

Related Links
ABC Bullion  
Goldenage International (GAI) 
Palloys Group

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