When Platinum Guild International (PGI) kicked off its Platinum Spotlight Program in 2022, select high-end artists were tapped to turn out signature and brand-new designs in the all-white metal, and the jewelry got many talking. From breathtaking platinum collars with South Sea pearls, garnets, and diamonds to interlinked diamond-studded rings meant to be worn across multiple fingers, the program and designs were so inspiring to see in platinum that PGI brought efforts back for 2023.
Making jewelry in the world’s rarest precious metal is always a good idea, but planting the platinum seed among the independent designer landscape is important to keep the cachet of the naturally white, strong, and hypoallergenic metal top of mind. Plus, at current metals prices, platinum makes even more sense, a point that some manufacturers are noting in orders.
Leo Schachter Diamonds has encountered a bevy of recent requests for platinum bridal styles. In fact, one longtime client, a national chain with more than 30 doors, is reintroducing a platinum program after a 20-year break. “Platinum has a higher space in brand awareness,” says Lenny Kramer, vice president of sales. “It means something when clients say, ‘I want this in platinum.’”
Another Schachter chain account, one with seven doors, is bringing in platinum bridal at the request of the sales team. “This is a store that sells Rolex and Patek Phillippe,” adds Kramer. “The buyer ordered pieces in 18k gold, but the sales associates want all platinum. Platinum checks off another box for many buyers.”
Soshil Choksey of Sandeep Diamond recognizes the importance of educating the sales staff—which likely led to his peers’ experience. “Educating the retailer about platinum is a lot of what we do,” explains the strategic creative director. “There’s a market for platinum.”
At press time, Choksey, too, was working hard to persuade a merchant to stock more of the metal in bridal. “It’s hardier and you don’t have to rhodium plate it like gold,” he says. “Consumer experiences are better long-term with platinum, which also lends itself to larger center stones.
IDD Luxe’s Kendra Bridelle agrees, which is why her newer division of parent company IDD plans to unveil platinum as a choice in its MOZÉ bridal collection of easy-to-swap-out heads and shanks. “We aim to satisfy the needs of the independent jeweler, so offering platinum is a logical next step,” says the division president.
Rick Mulholland’s company, Novell, a subsidiary of Continental, is another proponent of platinum in the bridal space. In fact, the firm leads with it—not gold—in most sales and at trunk shows. Novell has even developed a lightweight platinum design for the budget-conscious shopper who still wants a high-quality metal.
“The surface of the design looks identical to the medium and full weight versions, there’s just less height,” explains the sales manager. “Styles fit closer to the finger, and the edges aren’t sharp.”
And though Novell is known for its use of precious metals, it has also introduced a platinum with tantalum product within its wedding band options. “Our tantalum is slightly resizable (up to a ½ size), so it made sense to pair such a high-quality metal with a material that is in demand,” Mulholland adds.
And while platinum’s properties make it ideal for the commitment category, other brands use it in high-end fashion styles for its prestige. Cirari sets its toniest gemstones and diamonds and estate-inspired styles in platinum to set it apart from competitors.
“The allure of platinum is different than gold,” notes Mark Funk, vice president of sales and marketing. “Platinum has always been a product for better and higher-end goods because it has an allure to it, something from a bygone era.”