What first sparked your interest in diamonds?
When I was little, my mother would take my sister and I with her to go jewellery shopping on Nathan Road (in Hong Kong), where she’d spend hours looking for pieces to add to her collection. I was intrigued by all the sparkles and colours, and that’s when I knew that I wanted to learn more.
Do you remember your very first piece of jewellery?
The first piece that my mom bought for me – which I still have – is a floral-shaped ruby and diamond ring, while my sister has the sapphire and diamond version. Even if it seemed like we were too young to own jewellery back then, it taught me to treasure what I was given and that still rings true today.
What do you love about working with diamonds?
The joy that it brings people and how they’re a part of life’s major milestones, be it an engagement, anniversary, birthday or baby. I also love how jewellery can be passed down from generation to generation, and how each piece of jewellery holds a special meaning to the giver and the receiver.
(Photo: Courtesy of The 5th C)
What are the latest jewellery trends for 2021?
Rings with secret/hidden details! We recently placed a small blue sapphire inside the band to signify the couple's first trip together to Sri Lanka. Engraving initials to the inside of the ring is also popular.
Diamonds and gemstones that are set from east to west are a modern twist to classic designs, and we’re also seeing more gemstones and fancy colour diamonds as centre stones in engagement rings. Also, instead of the usual halo around the centre stones, the ‘under halo’ – which is set underneath the main stone for extra sparkle – is becoming more popular.
With Valentine’s Day coming up, any suggestions on gifting?
A diamond pendant or bracelet is always nice. The stacking trend is still going strong so getting an extra necklace or bracelet that would complement her existing pieces would go well.
If you weren’t working with diamonds, what would you be doing?
I love travelling, exploring new places and learning about different cultures. Back before Instagram existed, I wanted to be a travel show host – I thought it was the best job ever!
What did your travel schedule look like pre-COVID?
I usually took short trips often for work and/or leisure to places like Singapore, Shanghai, Manila, Bali and Thailand, along with two to three longer trips per year to Europe, Australia and New Zealand. In early 2020, I was lucky enough to have visited Sri Lanka for the first time. It was an amazing and spiritual trip that felt like I’d hit the reset button – definitely a change to my usual hectic schedule here in Hong Kong.
What are some of your most memorable trips?
Celebrating my birthday in Positano, Italy with my girlfriends. It was my third time and first for most of my friends, so I was happy to show them all my favourite spots. In the same year, I was fortunate enough to visit Champagne, France. We stayed in a 15-bedroom chateau and spent our days having lunch cooked by the private chefs my friends had hired, relaxing in our garden, going for walks, and of course, drinking champagne!
Greece in the summer of 2019 was also amazing – there’s so much culture and beauty in simplicity. It was our first time and I wish we could’ve stayed longer as three to four days per island certainly wasn’t enough. The sunsets were breathtaking!
Where do you hope to go once travel resumes?
My next big trip will be Spain. I haven’t been back in such a long time and we’re going to be celebrating a friend’s big birthday. I also hope to go to Dubai, as I’ve heard so many wonderful things about it.
(Photo: Courtesy of The 5th C)
Your all-time favourite city in the world?
Paris, because of all the museums, fantastic shows and iconic landmarks. In fact, I was so enthralled by the Eiffel Tower that I stocked a pair of earrings that reminded me of it. From haute couture fashion, world-class art and architecture to its gastronomy, beaches, countryside and ski resorts, Paris has it all.
As a Hong Konger, what are three things you’d recommend to visitors to do?
First, take the Star Ferry to Kowloon and back to Hong Kong island. It really is the best way to see the Hong Kong skyline. Second, take an evening stroll around The Peak, especially at dusk so that you can see the sunset and how the city lights up at night. Third, take a junk (boat) trip to one of Hong Kong’s many gorgeous beaches.
Learn more about The 5th C and get your hands on the sparkly stuff at the5thc.com (psst...they ship internationally!)