Fancy links: Fashionable silver chains and findings grow in favour

Silver chains from the 2017 TRENDline collection from Schofer, Germany
Companies specialising in silver chains and findings are growing their business by expanding their stylish designs to meet current market demand for non-traditional jewellery.

German manufacturer Schofer recently boosted its expansive range of silver chains with 24 new standalone designs. These chains feature unusual styles such as corded wires, cast graphic elements, twisted wires and new chain structures, the company notes.

"We wanted to offer our customers more chains that are a piece of jewellery in themselves. These are not chains that carry a pendant but items that are stylish and attractive enough to easily be worn alone," explains sales manager Martin Grosse.
Silver chains from Schofer, Germany

New additions to Schofer's TRENDline include Rock 'n Roll styles of clearly structured silver chains and woven designs in silver with oxidised surfaces, as well as themed items that have classic symbols such as hearts, crosses or stars worked into fine chains.

"A very hot trend at the moment is colour on silver chains. We offer a broad spectrum of colours in various kinds of plating like lacquer, PVD and different galvanic processes. In terms of patterns and textures, twisted wires are proving popular for silver chains," Grosse says, adding that Schofer's production and revenues are now split nearly equally between its standard chains and fancy chains.

Schofer caters primarily to clients from the US, France and Asia. It is also seeing greater interest from South America, Grosse says. According to him, the chain manufacturer did well last year by increasing its business with existing customers and welcoming a number of new accounts, with growth fuelled by end-users' preference for better-quality products.

"Our progress so far this year indicates that we are on the right track. Our wide array of over 1,000 chain designs, our ability to produce custom products for clients and our legendary quality ensure that we stand out from the competition," he notes.
Solid business
Yuen Fung Trading is just as confident of prospects this year. The Hong Kong-headquartered silver chain specialist offers more than 1,000 types of high-quality basic and fancy chain designs, says manager Kennis Lam.


Silver chains from Yuen Fung Trading

"Our company has accumulated decades of experience in producing good-quality chains efficiently by learning from the techniques of industry leaders such as Germany and Italy, acquiring advanced machinery and equipment for production and conducting R&D and market analysis to supply our clients with the best products," Lam remarks.


Silver chains from Yuen Fung Trading

While Yuen Fung was not totally spared from the challenges that beset Chinese jewellery companies in 2016, Lam believes the company will maintain a steady course this year. She cites sluggish economic conditions, rising costs of raw materials, stiffer competition and softer market demand as the factors that dimmed the prospects of the mainland's jewellery industry last year.

"We should still exercise caution this year, but as a market leader, Yuen Fung will continue to raise its profile in the industry and enhance its machinery and capabilities to improve its products and shorten production and delivery times. Our goal as always is to meet customer needs and provide them with better service," Lam says.

Sparkling opportunities

Silver findings are also taking the fancy route. Hong Kong's New Century Findings Ltd is noticing growing demand for new and fancy jewellery, with sparkling findings poised for a spike in popularity this year, according to director Sidney Law.
The company is thus introducing its Star Bead line, which resorts to a diamond-cut technique to make the pieces shine. Its Star Bead Chain sparkles like diamonds, while its Star Bead Chain Clasp – while not as shiny – can easily be used by regular consumers to create their own jewellery by hand, explains Law.

Star Bead Chain and Star Bead Chain Clasp from New Century Findings Ltd

"The findings industry is exciting and full of surprises. New techniques and innovative uses are discovered on a daily basis. With people now seeking stylish and non-traditional jewellery pieces, we continuously develop
diamond-cut pieces to meet their needs," he says.

Southeast Asia is New Century's top export market at present. As clients increasingly expect shorter delivery times, the manufacturer keeps ready stock and fulfills 50 percent of orders right away, with 90 percent of
orders completed within seven days, according to Law.

"Buying patterns have changed tremendously since the advent of online marketing. Aside from jewellery manufacturers and wholesalers, we increasingly cater too to end-users who are into DIY jewellery. This is one of the reasons why we are developing more easy-to-use and inexpensive findings," the company official says, pointing out that 60 percent of New Century's production is in silver, with the rest in karat gold and base metal.

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