Pearls
Steady demand for fine goods seen at Rio Pearl summer auction
2017/08/17
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Jonathan Cheng of Rio Pearl holds up one of the Tahitian pearl lots at the company’s summer auction in Hong Kong

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Demand for good-quality golden South Sea and Tahitian pearls remains strong based on the results of Rio Pearl’s summer auction in Hong Kong. According to company director Jonathan Cheng, 433 lots (184,443 pearls with a combined weight of 80,525.51 momme) out of the 437 lots (184,727 pearls with a total weight of 80,805.12 momme) offered at the June auction were sold, generating $3.86 million in sales.

Demand for good-quality golden South Sea and Tahitian pearls remains strong based on the results of Rio Pearl’s summer auction in Hong Kong.

According to company director Jonathan Cheng, 433 lots (184,443 pearls with a combined weight of 80,525.51 momme) out of the 437 lots (184,727 pearls with a total weight of 80,805.12 momme) offered at the June auction were sold, generating $3.86 million in sales.

The goods, which were split into two tenders over a two-day period, consisted of 172 lots of Myanmar South Sea pearls (38,619 pieces with a combined weight of 25,132.94 momme) and 265 lots of Tahitian pearls (146,108 pieces totalling 55,672.18 momme).

The sale saw a record number of bids, Cheng said. 

“More than 150 companies attended our auction, and over 70 percent of the buyers placed winning bids. The majority of our buyers came from Japan,” Cheng said. “Since our auction is relatively new, it takes time to mature. Buyers, however, are steadily becoming more confident with the goods we offer since our summer auction saw the participation of 30 new attendees.”

Small-sized golden South Sea pearls from Myanmar were among the most sought-after items at the sale. “Those goods were in demand since we saw several bids for lots of 8mm to 11mm pearls. Lots 173 and 187 – Myanmar golden South Sea pearls measuring 10mm to 11mm in diameter – were also popular with buyers,” according to Cheng.

Buyer sentiment kicked off strong at the June sale.

“Buyers were more cautious during our March auction but since the market had picked up over the last few months, buyers were much more confident about placing bids. Prices were stable and stayed within the norm, and we expect a strong market heading into September,” the Rio Pearl executive said.

Asked if he were anticipating stronger demand from China in the coming months, Cheng replied, “Since the global economy is still recovering, we do hope that Chinese buyers will steadily increase their demand in the second half of the year. As I understand, demand in China this year has been steady, and that Myanmar pearls in deeper gold colours have easily been sold. However, due to the rarity of high-quality deep golden pearls, prices have remained strong.”

Tahitian pearls in “good colour” or goods that come close to peacock hues remain highly sought after. 

“Demand for these pearls is stronger than ever but supply remains very limited,” Cheng said.

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