The Jewelry in Taiwan’s Crown

Precious metals and gems are even more valuable if presented in an elegant design that has artistic and emotional appeal.

A surefire hedge against low interest rates, inflation, or economic meltdowns, precious metals and stones have never gone out of fashion as a form of investment.

While the customer may pay a premium for a great or novel design and for purchasing at a luxury maison, the advantage of good jewelry is the assurance of authenticity in case the owner should choose to cash in one day. “High-end jewelry retains its value when the economy is going down. It’s as simple as that,” summarizes Michael Chia-Hao Liu, the Taipei 101 corporate spokesperson.

High-end jewelry has of late been one of the best sellers among all luxury segments at Taipei 101 and accounted for 30% of revenues in 2014, an increase of 51% on the previous year.

High-end jewelry has of late been one of the best sellers among all luxury segments at Taipei 101 and accounted for 30% of revenues in 2014, an increase of 51% on the previous year. Part of the reason for the good business is that most first-tier brands not only maintain outlets in the mall but use the space to present their whole collections, including the latest designs. As a result, shoppers can easily find what they want, or have seen in the online catalogue.

jewelry-shopping-taiwan-Jules-QuartlyUnlike watches (limited editions aside), designer clothes, and bags, high-end jewelry’s basic materials have a residual value that can always be traded for their full worth. In addition, jewelry is always welcome as a gift.

The global slowdown demonstrated the continued value of investing in jewelry, which maintained “solid value growth overall,” according to Euromonitor. “Imported jewelry dominated the market in Taiwan, particularly in terms of real jewelry. U.S branded jewelry enjoys wide recognition among local consumers. Brands from European countries are considered high-end jewelry, well known for excellent designs and quality.”

Increasingly, Euromonitor notes, domestic companies are trying to get a foothold on the jewelry bandwagon and attempting to compete with international brands. The annual Taiwan Jewelry & Gem Fair at the Taipei World Trade Center acts as a platform for young designers and manufacturers, as well as introducing overseas companies to explore the local market.

Meanwhile, Ever Rich has positioned itself to take a slice of the expanding pie and develop its own brand-name jewelry. Its selling point is authentic materials, but also jewelry that is connected to Taiwan’s imagery, such as a sunrise on Alishan. In addition to the value of the raw materials, this type of jewelry has a story behind it, making it a gift that has practical, artistic, and emotional appeal.

In an article for the Ever Rich duty-free magazine, the curator and director of Hu’s Art Company, Hu Chao-sheng, describes how his collaboration with Ever Rich Jewelry developed. “When we held internal discussions or talks with Ever Rich, we always focused on an idea we shared: since this is a Taiwan brand, it must reflect the culture. Our creativity was derived not only from modern Taiwan art but also from lifestyles and fashions, and even floral art and photography.” The brand image was promoted through presentations, sales, and also exhibitions.

As an Ever Rich spokesperson put it while strolling through the company’s sparkling jewelry exhibition space in the flagship duty-free store in Neihu: “If you have a famous brand from your own country, then the country’s international image naturally goes up.”

It is precisely through these kinds of initiatives that Taiwan may be able to move up the value chain in the luxury goods market.

This is part of a 6-part feature story on luxury goods in Taiwan:

Aiming to be Asia’s Luxury Shopping Destination
From Bags to Riches
The Jewelry in Taiwan’s Crown
Luxury Watches: More Than Just Telling the Time
Upgrading to First-Class
Chinese Aesthetic with a Contemporary Style