Company seeks to craft silver into culture market
When people think of Shanxi they usually think of coal, but while that might have been true in the past, in recent years some companies have been exploring other business opportunities.
Shanxi Datong Jinyin Mining Co, a subsidiary of Shanxi Coal Transportation and Sales Co, is one of them.
Located in Lingqiu county, Shanxi province, the company specializes in mining and processing silver instead of the traditional coal.
The company is echoing the call of the Chinese central government, which suggested that the country should reduce its dependence on the coal industry, an employee said.
According to the company, it is the largest State- owned industry of its kind in Datong, producing 100 tons of silver a year.
The company is now establishing a strategy that focuses on innovation and promoting Chinese culture.
“We are dedicated to integrating cultural elements of Shanxi province and the Chinese history into our products, which makes our products three times more expensive than plain silver goods,” Tian Jun, a director on board and secretary of the Party committee said.
The products the company produces include silver statues of Chairman Mao, the 12 Chinese zodiac animals, and Buddhist icons.
But making silver products is quite complicated. There are five steps involved in making the products, which includes carving molds and the electrolytic process.
In addition, there is a specialized quality check department in the company. The approval rate is about 60-70 percent, and those products that don’t make the grade are melted down and the silver used again, Tian said.
“I hope that our Jinyin products can be art pieces instead of just metal goods. This is our core competitiveness,” he added.
Tian said that the weight of a silver piece is an important indicator of its price. Normally speaking, the heavier a silver product is, the more expensive it is. For example, a silver brick carved with a Chinese zodiac is around 10,000 yuan ($1,667).
However, the theme is another important factor. The silver version of “Eight Fine Horses”— a painting composed by the renowned Chinese painter Xu Beihong (1895-1953) costs more than 100,000 yuan.
Other themes for the company’s products include plum blossom, orchids, bamboo and chrysanthemum, which have symbolic meanings in traditional Chinese culture and are frequently used in Chinese paintings and calligraphy.
Jinyin stands out among its counterparts in North China, Tian said.
The company’s products are now sold in authorized shops in several northern Chinese cities and they are hoping to raise people’s awareness of their products.
“When taking about gold handicraft brands, several companies will come to people’s minds, But no silver handicraft brand in China has ever enjoyed the same kind of popularity,” Tian said.
He said the company planned to enter more Chinese cities using the brand name “Jinyin” at this stage, but the name might change later.
“We are looking for a more suitable name, but brand name is not an urgent thing. For us, quality is the utmost concern. When customers really accept the products, they will accept the brand,” Tian said.
He said the company intends to make more products with traditional Chinese elements.
“More and more Chinese people feel unsatisfied with just spending on daily goods, they have started to appreciate art. The exquisite silver art crafts with cultural elements have a large potential market, ” he said. For more enquiries, please contact Sales Manager Bai Jibing. Phone: 18636261717. Fax: 0352- 8601362. QQ: 422739892. Company website: http:// www. dtzygs. com
The nearby cultural attractions, such as the Yungang Grottoes, an ancient Chinese Buddhist temple located in Shanxi province, offer the artists and technicians in the company inspiration for many of their silver products.
The company is located in Lingqiu county, Datong city.