Hong Kong-based Rio Pearl generated US$4.28 million from its February 21 and 22 auction, which featured 677 lots with a combined weight of 152,362.23 momme. Eighty percent of the lots offered were sold.
Jonathan Cheng , director of Rio Pearl, commented, “Overall sales slightly weakened compared to 2018. The market has been weak throughout the fourth quarter of 2018 and first quarter of 2019, with the last six months having been very slow for most wholesalers.”
At the auction, Cheng cited an increase in attendees, which included more than 150 companies. “The increase in buyers did not necessarily lead to higher sales but there was more interest from buyers to evaluate where the market was in terms of pricing,” he added.
Top-quality pearls were highly favoured, particularly white South Sea pearls. Rio Pearl introduced a new white South Sea pearl producer from Indonesia that offerd a wide assortment of high-grade 8mm to 14mm pearls, which were all sold out at a good price.
“We also had some nice peacock-colour Tahitian pearls of 8mm to 10mm in diameter. The overall quality of Tahitian pearls has been steadily declining in recent years but we only presented top-range pearls at this auction. Out of 677 lots, less than 15 Tahitian pearl lots were in semi-baroque and circle shapes,” revealed Cheng.
Rio Pearl is scheduled to hold another auction in June where it will focus more on South Sea pearls, according to the company official. The auction will include several new producers of golden and white South Sea pearls.
Rio Pearl’s latest auction saw a slight drop in sales but
high-quality pearls enjoyed strong demand.