New from Platinum Guild International
Platinum Guild International is dedicated to promoting platinum and its pure, rare and eternal qualities to the consumer and the jewelry trade. PGI has offices in each of the world’s major jewelry markets, providing information, assistance and education on all aspects of platinum jewelry.
For more information, please visit www.platinumjewelry.com
Heading into the Holiday Season, Industry Leaders Pick Platinum as Sales of the World’s Most Precious Metal Continue to Soar
On track to achieve its 9th consecutive year of growth for platinum jewelry sales, PGI USA is predicting a white metal ‘wave’ in 2023.
For many in the jewelry industry, it will be a white Christmas. While Mother Nature may or may not cooperate, manufacturers and retailers alike are experiencing notably strong sales of platinum jewelry as they enter the final eight weeks of the selling season. A combination of a favorable metal price and consumer demand are resulting in double-digit growth for many companies.
When asked about the state of their platinum business, many manufacturing executives were quick to share their positive position on the metal:
“Platinum offers two major advantages in the bridal category. First of all, at today’s metal market, consumers can truly afford the premier precious metal. Secondly, it allows jewelers to position themselves as providing top quality along with superior service and trust, thereby maximizing the lifetime value of that client. Closing the gap between consumers’ preferences and consumers’ final purchases is always a big growth opportunity. Across our portfolio of jewelry brands, from ArtCarved engagement rings to Goldman wedding and anniversary bands, we’re posting year over year double-digit growth and anticipate that trend continuing through 2023.” – Jonathan Goldman, CEO, Frederick Goldman, Inc.
“A.JAFFE has been creating platinum bridal jewelry since its inception in 1892. Platinum has always elevated our brand and even more so during the last two years as brides are demanding diamonds of the highest quality set in the most prestigious metal”. – Sam Samberg, Chairman, A.JAFFE.
When asked, retail executives were equally as bullish on platinum:
“Platinum holds a high status in the fine jewelry industry, notably so at Robbins Brothers, resulting in an increase in overall value for our business throughout the years. We continue to see year-over-year double digit increases in our platinum sales, with strong interest from our guests as this remains a high priority and focus for Robbins Brothers.” – Sue Hopeman, Vice President of Merchandising, Robbins Brothers
“More of our customers than ever are choosing platinum for their engagement and wedding ring purchases. This luxurious and enduring metal, known for its rare and exceptional quality, is an essential part of the unparalleled selection of jewelry choices offered at Helzberg Diamonds.” – Julie Yoakum, President + Chief Merchandising Officer, Helzberg Diamonds Spokesperson
“Introducing guests to platinum has been an integral part of our success this year. With its added beauty and durability, it has offered a great benefit to them, while providing us with higher average sales and increased margins. We expect platinum to continue to be an important factor in our holiday season. In the short-term platinum sales have increased our average sale and margin percentage. In the long-term, platinum has increased customer satisfaction, and repeat purchases. A platinum engagement ring needs a platinum wedding band. (Or two!) When customers are looking for a gift with excellent value, platinum should always be a consideration.” – Leo Gerrior, Store Manager, South Portland, Day’s Jewelers
This year, PGI USA enacted various industry-focused programs, including annual business grants and strategic partnerships, to support manufacturers, brands, designers, and retailers to continue to prioritize platinum and grow that sector of their businesses. 2023 will see an increase in programming and an opportunity to establish new partnerships with the next class of grant recipients, all working towards a goal of promoting the power of platinum.
For more information, please visit www.platinumjewelry.com
Unleashing the Untapped Power of Wedding Bands: Part 2
Wedding bands and commitment rings are redefining the relationship jewelry landscape. Further, they are a great relationship-building and revenue-driving category for the retail jeweler.
Consider the opportunity: there are approximately 2 million weddings per year, with the average cost of a wedding $30,000, making it a $52 Billion+ business, of which jewelry plays an important part.
If we look at wedding bands specifically, 89% of couples have purchased or plan to purchase wedding bands prior to their wedding day. The average proposee’s wedding band costs $1,100, while the average proposer’s wedding band is $550. For retailers, it’s a nearly guaranteed sale and is a big profit opportunity that often gets overlooked.
As research shows, the majority of engaged couples plan to buy wedding rings, yet incremental sales and profits get left on the table when customers go elsewhere after purchasing the engagement ring. This is a great opportunity for retailers to establish their relationship with lifelong customers-to-be during this momentous time in their lives. By securing the important engagement ring and wedding bands sales, retailers establish the future opportunity for celebratory gifting, including those acknowledging anniversaries and other milestones, such a push presents.
Platinum makes the wedding band opportunity even more profitable, and the majority of consumers will buy platinum if it is offered and explained why it’s the best value for their money.
When reviewing consumer desire and selling opportunities when it comes to platinum, market statistics show it’s a major growth opportunity:
- Awareness of Platinum: 88%
- Consideration to Buy Platinum: 84%
- Preference for Platinum: 66%
Yet the actual acquisition of a platinum wedding ring is only 14%. This herein lies the opportunity! We encourage retailers to explore the platinum possibilities with their customers, to both parties’ benefits!
For more information, please visit www.platinumjewelry.com
Watch Part 1 of ‘Unleashing the Untapped Power of Wedding Bands’ Below
THE ABC’S OF PGI USA’s QABs
Platinum Guild International USA is the industry’s resource for all things platinum jewelry – from metal information and education to technical resources. Our mission is to inspire jewelers and customers alike to build an enduring commitment for platinum that withstands the test of time.
One area of particular focus is technical education, a key pillar on our trade-facing website, PlatinumLearning.com. On the site is a section dedicated to our Quality Assurance Benchmarks, a set of standards designed along with GIA, which provide a wealth of information, ensuring the designing and manufacturing of jewelry that will last for generations.
The four key areas of the QABs are:
- Ring Sizing – Accurately determining finger and ring size, and sizing rings with and without diamonds in the shank using a torch or laser welder
- This section also drills down into sizing platinum rings of various alloys, with and without diamonds in the shank
- Finishing and Polishing – Techniques for pre-finishing, finishing, polishing and buffing for quality results
- This section includes information on refinishing worn platinum jewelry and evaluating burnished platinum
- Assembly and Setting – Features of platinum settings, including removal and installation of settings, assembly of platinum products to gold, and best practices for wear
- Explore this track to learn more about prong settings
- Tools and Metal Identification – Characteristics of platinum alloys, and best practices for working with platinum, including tools and avoiding contamination
Visit PlatinumLearning.com for more useful information about the designing and manufacturing of platinum jewelry. For specific inquiries or technical questions, email PGI USA’s SVP, Kevin Reilly, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUMMER IS THE PERFECT TIME TO REFRESH YOUR SELLING SKILLS
In advance of the holiday season, before the stores are filled with customers, summer’s respite provides an ideal time to brush up on selling skills and product knowledge, ensuring confidence and success come Q4.
Platinum Guild International USA has created a 7-part online training series that offers a quick refresh on key areas of focus for all sales associates.
The short videos, part of the Platinum Resource Center on PlatinumLearning.com, are easily accessible and can be completed within a single lunch hour.
Training topics include:
- Platinum’s History + Heritage – The history of platinum’s discovery, disappearance and reappearance as a precious metal
- Today’s Platinum Consumer – Learn how to be influential and supportive in the selling process to today’s consumer by better understanding what platinum customers want and how they shop
- She PREFERS Platinum – As over 75% of women say platinum is either their first choice or serious consideration, learn why she PREFERS platinum
- The ‘I Do’ Moment – Learn how to communicate platinum’s unique qualities and characteristics to clients, so they consider platinum for their engagement ring and wedding band purchases
- Ask the Experts – Leading sales professionals share why and how they sell platinum to their clients
- On the Sales Floor – As the expert, the consumer is looking to a sales associate for guidance during the engagement ring purchase and this module covers how to communicate the benefits of a platinum setting to your customer
- The 5th C: A Platinum Crown – Learn about the features and benefits of selling the 5th C: A Platinum Crown
Whether you are an expert or a novice, these brief training modules and their associated quizzes will ensure sales associates are the go-to platinum professionals in no time.
Beyond the online sales training modules, PGI USA’s SVP Kevin Reilly is available for virtual trainings for retailers and sales associates nationwide. If you are interested in arranging a training for your team, please contact Kevin at email@example.com.
In celebration of Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee:
A Spotlight on The Queen’s 5 Most Dazzling Platinum Jewels
Words by Marion Fasel of The Adventurine
“I have to be seen to be believed,” Queen Elizabeth II, who recently celebrated her Platinum Jubilee, once famously quipped.
Countless fashion journalists have covered how the Queen has not only shown up and been seen over the years, she has also clearly stood out among crowds with her colorful ensembles.
What few in fashion have noted about these carefully crafted looks is that they have always—undoubtedly with great intention—acted as magnificent backdrops to show off the Queen’s jewels. After all, it’s the jewels that no commoner or royal for that matter, could ever really imitate. It’s the jewels that transform Her Majesty’s 5’3” frame into a towering royal figure.
In honor of the Queen’s monumental Platinum Jubilee celebrating her historic and unprecedented 70 years on the throne, it seemed apropos to take a look back at the most dazzling platinum and gem-set jewels in her vast collection of treasures.
The Cullinan V Diamond and Platinum Brooch by Garrard
The Queen tosses on her diamond and platinum Cullinan V brooch, an incredibly historic design, as easily as most of us sport a pair of jeans. The jewel, which is clearly one of her favorites, has been in Her Majesty’s main rotation for years.
During London Fashion week in 2018, the brooch was part of a break-the-internet moment. The Queen wore it while she sat in the front row with Anna Wintour to watch the Richard Quinn fashion show and present the emerging talent with the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design.
Made in 1911 by the British jeweler Garrard for Queen Elizabeth’s grandmother, Queen Mary, the design centers on the 18.8-carat heart shape Cullinan V diamond. The gem was one of 105 stones cut from the 3,106.75-carat Cullinan, the largest diamond ever discovered.
The Cullinan V brooch shows off many of the various types of techniques jewelers added to platinum designs during the early years of the 20th century. Knife-edge platinum spokes spread out from the center. Swirls of the metal embrace smaller diamonds on the frame. Millegrain, small beads, cover the surface and add delicate texture. All of these flourishes were possible with platinum because of the metal’s strength.
The Williamson Pink Diamond and Platinum Brooch by Cartier London
The Williamson Pink Diamond and Platinum Brooch has been part of the Queen’s ensembles for several very special occasions. During her Silver Jubilee, she wore the jewel for the central day of the festivities on June 7, 1977.
Among the other events when she has put on the brooch are the royal weddings of two of her children: Prince Charles to Diana in 1981 and Prince Edward to Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999.
The 23.6-carat Williamson Pink Diamond was a wedding gift the Queen received from the Canadian geologist, Dr. John Thorburn Williamson, who owned the Mwadui mine in Tanzania where it was discovered.
In 1953 Cartier in London set the pink diamond in a platinum and white diamond flower brooch. Multiple diamond shapes highlight the almost 4-inch-long jewel. Platinum curves around the edges of the petals on the flower adding a natural quality to the design.
The Delhi Durbar Necklace by Garrard
As the title of this platinum, diamond and emerald jewel suggests, it was made for Queen Mary to wear at the Delhi Durbar in 1911. The event marked King George V’s ascension to the British throne and by extension also becoming the Emperor of India which was still under British rule.
When Mary died in 1953, she bequeathed the jewel to Queen Elizabeth. Her Majesty wears the necklace at formal dinners. In the picture above, taken around 1970, she put on the jewel with a mod dress, tiara and emerald earrings.
The Delhi Durbar necklace is a negligee style design which means it has two asymmetrical strands at the front. Generally, platinum negligee necklaces made in the first quarter of the 20th century were delicate with small diamond accents.
The Queen’s Delhi Durbar necklace is the opposite scale of the typical styles. Hers has giant cabochon emeralds and diamonds. At the end of the strands is a pear shape cabochon emerald and the 8.8-carat Cullinan VII diamond.
The Greville Chandelier Diamond and Platinum Earrings by Cartier London
During the early years of her reign, Queen Elizabeth routinely wore the glamorous Greville Chandelier platinum and diamond earrings made by Cartier in 1929. She received the jewels as wedding presents from her parents King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
The monarch’s mother inherited the earrings as well as many other jewels in 1942 from a British heiress named Margaret Greville.
The Greville Chandelier diamond and platinum earrings are textbook Art Deco designs. During the era various fancy shaped diamonds—some of which lapidaries were beginning to cut for the first time—gave jewels the style’s signature geometric look. Some of the fancy diamond shapes in these almost three-inch long earrings are half-moon, trapeze, square, baguette, baton and emerald-cut stones.
By the 1920s, platinum was well established as the best metal to be used in important jewelry. The platinum setting in the Greville Chandelier Earrings follows the lines of the gems in the body of the earrings. Pear shape diamonds dangling at the bottom are held in place by platinum prongs.
The Queen’s Diamond and Platinum Australian Wattle Brooch by William & Drummond Co.
A few of Queen Elizabeth’s many diamond and platinum brooches represent the emblems of Commonwealth countries. One of her most well-known is the Canadian platinum and diamond Maple Leaf. The Queen’s Diamond and Platinum Australian Wattle Brooch is another example.
Made by the Melbourne based jeweler William & Drummond Co., the Australian Wattle brooch, which is a representation of the national flower, was presented to the Queen on her first visit to Australia in 1954. Over the years, she has coordinated the jewel with yellow and green outfits highlighting the yellow diamonds in the design.
There is an elegance in the way the master craftsman worked platinum into thin lines to show off the gems in the Australian Wattle Brooch.
It is one of the jewels chosen by the curators at the Royal Collection Trust to be part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee exhibitions. This piece will be among the historic display at Windsor Castle commemorating Her Majesty’s Coronation at Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953.
WHAT ESG FACTORS ARE MOST IMPORTANT TO FINE JEWELRY CONSUMERS?
A NEW PGI-SPONSORED STUDY ANSWERS THE QUESTIONS & PROVIDES 4 KEY TAKEAWAYS
As an organization representing platinum producers committed to abiding by ethical, social, and environmental standards, PGI USA recognizes the importance of incorporating ESG into business practices. In an effort to gain a deeper understanding of the fine jewelry consumer mindset when it comes to ESG, the trade organization behind the world’s most precious metal commissioned a study on the topic as it relates to fine jewelry purchasing. The goal of this research was to determine which ESG factors are most important to the fine jewelry consumer and to explore the impact of these factors.
The research yielded four key findings:
Consumers’ Understanding of Definition of Sustainability Varies
Buzz words such as environmentally responsible, sustainable sourcing and traceability fit best when consumers think of sustainability. However, human rights and fair labor practices are most likely to sway their purchase decision.
Takeaway #1: There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to what ‘sustainability’ means to consumers. This means while retailers need to be mindful about using the terminology and knowledgeable about the origins and production of the jewelry they carry, they also need to understand what aspects are important to individual consumers.
Sustainability is Ranked Fourth Among Important Factors Influencing Consumers’ Fine Jewelry Selection
Although sustainability is important to a good proportion of fine jewelry consumers, it is not nearly as influential on their selection as quality, design and metal used. While many consumers cite that sustainability is about jewelry being produced responsibly, environmentally friendly practices and fair labor laws, some also cite that it relates to the durability and quality of the piece, showcasing an unclear definition and understanding of the word among consumers.
Takeaway #2: As the definition of sustainability varies between consumers, sales associates need to be prepared to both ask and answer questions to ensure customers get the informative they need to make an informed purchase.
Young Consumers Lead the Conversations with Jeweler about Sustainability
About two in five respondents had conversations with their jeweler about sustainability. These discussions are largely driven by those 18-39, and topics focus on how the piece was made, where the materials were sourced and the quality/durability of the piece.
Takeaway #3: Be a respected, accessible source of information. Encourage sales associates to have conversations with their customers, both in person as well as digitally, through email or even via text and DM. Allowing for an open dialogue will create not only a stronger relationship with the consumer, but a greater understanding of what is important to them.
Consumers are Willing to Pay More for Sustainability Aspects
Although consumers’ understanding of the definition of sustainability varies, most consumers state that they would pay an average of 15-20% more for all sustainable aspects, particularly environmentally responsible, human rights and fair labor practices.
Takeaway #4: There is a strong ROI for investing time and energy to both educate sales associates about sustainability, as well as encouraging them to have those types of conversations with their customers. Research shows consumers are already willing to pay the premium for sustainably-minded jewelry and this will only increase in coming years.
“We feel it is important for our industry to make a continued commitment toward sustainable practices in all levels of business”, shared PGI USA president, Jenny Luker. “In order to be highly effective in this space and provide value to our partners and the industry at large, we felt it was necessary to conduct a study that would show the baseline of what sustainability actually means to consumers, allowing our future communications to be more effectively received.”
For more information on educating your staff on areas of sustainability, contact PGI USA’s SVP,
Kevin Reilly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT’S IN YOUR PLATINUM?
Sounds like an easy enough question, yet many retailers and industry members do not know the answer. To assist in finding the answer to this question, Platinum Guild International USA has launched a new initiative to educate the industry on the importance of understanding different platinum alloys and how they impact jewelry manufacturing.
Nearly all precious metal jewelry is made from alloys, a mixture of the primary precious metal and one or more other precious or base metals. While many may be aware that platinum is naturally white, ensuring it will not fade or change color over time; durable, meaning a customer will not lose metal as a result of normal wear and tear unlike other metals; and that it holds diamonds and gemstones most securely, retailers may not know the alloy composition of the platinum jewelry they currently sell. Other metals used in creating platinum jewelry alloys commonly include Ruthenium, Cobalt and Iridium, in various percentages.
These percentages are of utmost importance, as the alloy composition can significantly impact wear performance. Below is an easy-to-reference infographic summarizing the most commonly used platinum jewelry alloys in the US and their impact on jewelry manufacturing.
The PGI USA Platinum Alloys 101 infographic is available for download here via PlatinumLearning.com.
Most platinum jewelry in the US is made from alloys that are best for all manufacturing processes like casting, machining, die-striking and/or hand-fabricated designs. As the infographic shows, PGI USA has identified one alloy that should not be considered for casting jewelry or setting gemstones, as the resulting product may not meet long-term quality control standards. Posing the question ‘What’s in Your Platinum’ to manufacturers and retailers will help PGI USA to share important guidance to those companies using a problematic alloy. The goal is helping them switch to a better alternative that ensures optimal gemstone security, wear performance and customer satisfaction.
PGI USA has set up a dedicated web page, https://www.platinumlearning.com/alloys/, for retailers and manufacturers to provide information on the specific alloys being used in their platinum jewelry.
CELEBRITIES KICK OFF RED CARPET SEASON IN PLATINUM JEWELRY
It was a return to glamour, diamonds, and platinum jewelry at the recent 28th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held in Los Angeles, California. At the first major red-carpet event for Hollywood since pre-pandemic times, celebrities took the opportunity to wear a myriad of well-known designers’ latest fashion creations, accentuated by platinum-set high jewelry from many notable brands.
Platinum, the naturally white setting that truly enhances the brilliance of diamonds and colored gemstones, perfectly complemented the couture gowns and added timeless Hollywood glamour.
Many of Hollywood’s A-list chose to wear jewelry set in the world’s most precious metal, including Lady Gaga, Meryl Streep, and Helen Mirren.
The most noticeable platinum jewelry trend of the event was statement earrings, as seen on Reese Witherspoon, Salma Hayek, Nicole Kidman, and Kirsten Dunst.
Platinum is the ideal choice for red carpet jewelry because it holds diamonds and precious gemstones more securely than any other metal. It is not only the highest quality metal, but its density makes it one of the most durable and enduring precious metals. For more information on the world’s most precious metal, visit www.platinumjewelry.com.
GOING BEHIND THE BENCH WITH PGI
Did you know that platinum is used for many purposes outside of holding gemstones most securely?
From medical devices to automotive initiatives, our Behind the Bench e-series, in partnership with the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC), takes deep dives into many of these fascinating areas. Most recently, topics have included:
Boots on the Moon explores platinum’s ability to unlock hydrogen technologies which could help achieve sustainable space exploration goals. Platinum has had long-term associations with space exploration, including the platinum catalysts in hydrogen fuel cells which were part of the pioneering technology that paved the way for the first moon landing in 1969, and fast-forward to today, when a lunar rover using platinum-based fuel cell electric vehicle technologies is being developed.
Platinum on the Frontline showcases the metal’s role within the Covid-19 pandemic. Platinum is the material of choice for electrodes in blood gas analyzers due to its fast response and reduced measurement error compared with other electrode options. Instruments that read blood gas composition are proving vital as a diagnostic tool for healthcare professionals treating the virus as they help to screen, diagnose and monitor patients suffering from respiratory compromise. They can be used across a wide range of settings from emergency medicine and critical care to dialysis units or the laboratory.
At the Medical Frontier gives readers a closer look at a porous mesh made out of platinum, part of a device that simulates the blood filtering and ion transport functions of the human kidney. The technology could transform treatment options for people in the final stage of renal disease.
To explore the full library of Behind the Bench articles, visit www.platinumjewelry.com/platinum-pulse or subscribe to receive them directly in your inbox.
GIVE YOUR CUSTOMERS THE PLATINUM CROWN THEY DESERVE
Most consumers have thought about their engagement ring for years and will most likely have an idea of what they want when they enter a jewelry store to make a purchase. However, what they may not already know are the benefits of choosing platinum. This presents an opportunity to educate them on all of platinum’s key features that make it the best choice for an engagement ring, including its durability and providing the most secure setting for a diamond.
What is a Platinum Crown?
A Platinum Crown is an entirely platinum setting that sits on top of an engagement ring and secures the diamond with its prongs.
There are many ways that a Platinum Crown can be created, but one of the most common is by casting. There are two ways that a Platinum Crown can become part of a ring –
- It can be part of a “single cast” – the process by which the entire ring, including the crown is created as a single unit. Nothing has to be assembled once it has been cast, so jewelers will polish it and get it ready to set the diamond.
- A semi-mount with a peg head of a different metal can be replaced with a platinum crown and affixed to the shank of the ring through soldering or lasering. Durable, die-struck platinum crowns are readily available from findings and component suppliers.
Why Choose to be Crowned in Platinum?
When a customer chooses a Platinum Crown, they protect their diamond from loss or damage and reduce their ring’s cost of maintenance for life. Below are 5 reasons to encourage customers to choose a Platinum Crown:
- It’s Wear-resistant. A Platinum Crown is significantly more durable than gold. Platinum’s high density and superior wear resistance give a diamond more substantial protection than gold, which can become brittle and prone to cracking and breaking.
- It Requires Less Maintenance. A Platinum Crown requires far less maintenance than gold over the lifetime of your engagement ring, which means lower cost-of-ownership. In 10 years’ time, a platinum ring will actually cost approximately 2.5 times less than gold considering the cost of repairing and replating white gold rings.
- It’s The Most Secure Setting for Gemstones. Platinum has no “metal memory” – meaning that when a jeweler bends a platinum prong to set a diamond, the prong stays in its new place. (While gold has “memory”, so when a bench jeweler tries to bend a gold prong to set a diamond, it has a tendency to snap back to its original position, weakening the prongs over time). When subjected to blunt force or trauma through the course of wear, gold prongs are more likely to crack or break, which may threaten a gemstone’s security. Platinum may bend from blunt force, but it will not break – holding the gemstone more securely.
- Patina – It’s Platinum’s Mark of Authenticity – All precious metals scratch, but something very different happens when platinum scratches. Every time gold scratches, microscopic bits are lost – even from rubbing on your clothing and bedding. Over time, it wears down and components of a ring will need to be replaced. When you bump, rub, or scratch platinum, it doesn’t wear away. Over time, those scratches come together and reflect a satiny, matte finish (patina) on the surface of a ring. This patina is platinum’s mark of authenticity and your customer’s assurance of its superior wear-resistance.
- It’s Naturally White. Platinum Crowns are naturally white, so they don’t need plating or re-plating and do not reflect color into gemstones. This means the diamond will shine brighter and whiter than if it is set in white, yellow or rose gold.
Can a customer still be Crowned in Platinum even if they prefer another metal color?
YES! Platinum is the recommended metal of choice for an engagement ring setting. However, if a customer prefers the overall look of yellow or rose gold, they too can (and should) select a design that will accommodate a Platinum Crown for their ring. In fact, because of platinum’s durability and natural white color, Platinum Crowns are commonly affixed to gold engagement ring settings by fine jewelers.
When it comes to engagement rings, always suggest a platinum crown!
Why Everyone Prefers Platinum
Brought to the earth by meteors 2 billion years ago, this ‘metal of kings’ has a storied history that only compares to its extraordinary physical properties. Continue reading for a few reasons why everyone PREFERS platinum.
P – Platinum jewelry is more PURE.
The majority of platinum jewelry sold in the US is 90 to 95% pure platinum. Considering that 14K gold is only 58.5% gold, it is easy to understand why platinum is on a whole other level. Platinum’s purity makes it hypoallergic making it kind to even the most sensitive of skins.
R – Platinum is 30 times more RARE.
Need a visual? Consider this: all the gold ever mined would fit into three Olympic swimming pools. Platinum, however, would barely cover your ankles in a single pool. Like all things rare, platinum is valuable and will continue to hold its value over time.
E – Platinum is ENDURING.
Due to its density, platinum is a highly durable metal. Why does this matter? When platinum is scratched, metal is displaced, rather than flaked and lost, as with other metals. Over time, the surface of a platinum ring will reflect a satiny finish, often referred to as a patina. It’s platinum’s mark of authenticity and evidence of its superior wear resistance, making it supremely wearable and the ideal metal for heirloom quality jewelry.
F- Platinum FEELS significant.
Take the time to hold a platinum band in one hand and a gold band in another; you’ll quickly sense the difference. Platinum is 60% heavier than 14K gold and 40% heavier than 18K. Another fun fact to consider: a 6-inch cube of platinum weighs an astounding 165 pounds!
E – Platinum elicits a positive EMOTIONAL response.
Given nearly 70% of consumers say they prefer platinum for their engagement ring, you can be confident that it is their first choice. The world’s most precious metal is befitting to signify the ultimate commitment, thus its legacy of being the metal of choice for some of the most renowned engagement rings in history.
R – Platinum is a REAL white metal.
Platinum’s genuinely natural white color will not change nor fade over time. It does not require maintenance or ‘re-dipping’ as other ‘white’ gold does.
S – Platinum holds diamonds and gemstones most SECURELY.
Last but certainly not least, scientific research has proven that platinum holds diamonds and precious gemstones more securely. It is dense, durable, and corrosion-resistant, making it more likely to bend, not break, when subject to force. Why would you trust your investment to anything else?
4 Engagement Ring Trends Your Customers Will Be Asking for This Holiday Season
‘Tis the season for holiday proposals! Platinum Guild USA commissioned leading bridal jewelry editor and stylist, Shane Clark, to define four trends in platinum engagement rings that are sure to be on the radar of pre-engaged couples this upcoming holiday season.
Trend #1: MODERN VINTAGE
Modern vintage engagement rings reflect the beauty and passion of past eras, famously Victorian, Edwardian and Art Deco designs. The intricate attention to details, such as filigree, milgrain, and engraving are hallmarks of vintage engagement ring designs. Platinum is the ideal metal for a setting of this style, as over time, it takes on a satiny sheen known as patina, a natural mark of authenticity and enduring value. Perfect compliments to a vintage-inspired heirloom to be.
Trend #2: THREE STONE
Whether a ring is an ode to the past, present, or exciting future, a three stone or ‘Trinity Ring’ is a true classic, remaining one of the world’s most desired engagement ring styles among brides to be. The most traditional design consists of three round-cut diamonds creating linear symmetry, yet modern takes incorporate fancy shapes for an updated look to the trend. As platinum holds diamonds more securely than other precious metals, it is an ideal choice for a three stone setting.
Trend #3: COLORED GEMS
While many engagement rings follow the tradition of incorporating a white center diamond, many couples choose to mark their eternal commitment with a colored gemstone. Setting a colored stone in platinum enhances the look of gemstones, accentuating the color against the naturally white metal.
Trend #4: TOI ET MOI
In French ‘Toi et Moi’ means ‘you and me’. Often referred to as a ‘Bypass Ring’, a design pairing two gems together creates a romantic set symbolizing the love between two people. The Toi et Moi ring dates as far back as 1796 to Napoleon and Josephine. Recent modern updates include Arianna Grande’s oval-cut diamond and pearl combination, putting this unique design on the wish list of many brides to be.
From vintage looks to classic three-stones, to pops of colored gems, choosing platinum assures an engagement ring will stand the test of time thanks to its durability, remaining beautiful and brilliant for many holidays to come.
DO YOU KNOW THE HISTORY OF PLATINUM?
The World’s most precious metal has a unique history, a defining journey to become the prized possession we know today. Test your knowledge and share these fun facts with your customers to educate and excite them about unparalleled platinum.
Platinum is a naturally white metal that will not tarnish and develops a rich patina over time. In addition to platinum’s unique qualities, making it conducive to creating beautiful long-lasting jewelry, this metal’s physical and chemical properties also make it invaluable to the healthcare, automotive and technology industries.
For more information, please visit www.platinumjewelry.com
How to Increase Your Bridal Revenue by 4-6% in 33 Minutes
Many retailers are sitting on an incremental revenue channel that they do not know exists. No matter how many customers they serve, this opportunity is rarely taken advantage of, allowing at least $37,000 of profit to walk out the door. What is this secret only a few people know? It’s the power of the 5th ‘C’.
Everyone — from retailers to consumers — is familiar with the 4C’s: cut, color, clarity and carat weight. But what many retailers fail to make the most of is the 5th ‘C’: the platinum crown! Also known as the ‘head’ or ‘peg’ of a ring, this small widget is mighty in the purse.
Don’t believe us? In a recent consumer research study, 9 out of 10 consumers said they would pay an average of $469 to set their diamond in platinum once they understand why it is important to do so.
So how to make this magic happen for your store? Start by taking 3 minutes to educate a consumer on the importance of setting a diamond in platinum. That’s it; THREE MINUTES.
You already know the key talking points:
- Strength, durability, and lack of metal memory all contribute to making platinum the best choice for securing a diamond
- Platinum has superior prong wear, meaning they won’t weaken or break over time
- Platinum prongs do not need to be re-tipped, saving the customer money in the future
- Platinum prongs require little to no maintenance
- Nothing holds a diamond more securely than platinum; why would a customer risk their investment to any other metal?
66% of consumers are not aware that they can have their diamonds set in a platinum crown even if the ring is not platinum. While there are many reasons why platinum is the best metal for the entire engagement ring, for those customers who have their heart set on an alternative, they can still have the benefits of a platinum crown.
Once the customer understands the value and importance of a platinum crown, add 30 minutes, the average time it will take for a bench jeweler to have a diamond set in a platinum head, into the equation.
Let’s do the math:
3 minutes explaining the power of platinum
30 minutes for your jeweler to set the diamond in a platinum crown
33 minutes spent towards increased revenue!
On average, a small independent retailer sells 107 engagement rings each year. The retail price of a platinum crown as a separate component is approximately $350.
Do not let this easy income slip away! Be sure your sales team is aware of this revenue-driving opportunity today.
For more information, visit www.platinumlearning.com to explore the power of platinum or email Kevin Reilly, PGI’s Vice President (email@example.com), to schedule a platinum training with your store in advance of the upcoming holiday engagement season.
Red Carpet Recap
After a year of loungewear and a resurgence of Crocs, it was a refreshing change to see modified red carpets come to life this awards season! While the photo lines flanked with cameramen from global media outlets gave way to home portrait studios and selfies a plenty, Hollywood’s A-listers took the chance to bring back a return of glamour in full force.
Just as with awards seasons past, platinum was front and center, ready for its close up! The world’s most precious metal could be found gracing the décolletage and earlobes of stars of television and film. Platinum’s naturally white setting truly enhances the brilliance of diamonds and colored gemstones, and perfectly complemented the colorful couture gowns, trendy hairstyles and beautiful makeup.
Classic diamond necklaces worn in new and interesting ways were definitely a trend spotted on several award-winning necks. Anya Taylor Joy, of The Queen’s Gambit fame was stunning in a suite of white diamonds set in platinum from Tiffany & Co.
Zendaya took the #neckmess to a whole new level pairing two platinum and diamond necklaces from Bulgari…worth a cool $6 million!
The Crown’s Vanessa Kirby made the most of her first nomination for Pieces of a Woman, donning a Cartier platinum and diamond necklace with a drop showing off her backless gown.
Drop earrings were also in high demand by leading ladies, as showcased by a myriad of actresses.
Best Supporting Actress Nominee Amanda Seyfried accented her bold red ball gown with Forevermark diamond and platinum drop halo earrings.
Glenn Close sparkled in multi-diamond and platinum drops from Kwiat.
Regina King selected 36-carat diamond-drop and platinum show-stoppers also from Forevermark by Rahaminov.
The Plumb Club’s designers are ready for their red carpet run! Here are just a few pieces that would fit flawlessly on any awards season circuit!
For more platinum knowledge, visit www.platinumjewelry.com.
Metal Matters: Science Proves Platinum is Better Than Gold for Your Jewelry Purchase
Stackable Platinum Bands by Art Carved
Choosing platinum is a celebration of beauty, strength, authenticity, and longevity. Not only do these elements factor into the construction of every piece of platinum jewelry, they also reflect a relationship built upon the same traits.
In an effort to once and for all prove the long-supported anecdotal evidence of platinum’s superiority in wear resistance and gem setting security versus that of gold jewelry, Platinum Guild International (PGI) recently released the findings of a three-phase formal independent study conducted by fem Research Institute Precious Metals + Metal Chemistry, in association with TechForm Advanced Casting Technology.
Key conclusions established by the study are two-fold: platinum alloys demonstrate superior wear resistance over white gold alloys with the absolute and relative volume losses of the platinum alloys demonstrating to be lower than that of the gold alloys.
Bench jewelers will most often cite that platinum jewelry pieces that have long been in service are found to be in sound shape without extensive repairs and there is an infrequent need to re-tip platinum prongs versus gold prongs. Platinum shanks do not tend to wear thin and need replacements as often as gold shanks. As platinum is regarded as the best metal to most securely hold a diamond, the study was also conducted to measure the differences in performance of platinum alloys versus gold alloys regarding prong wear.
The entire report and its findings are available here.
Short on time? Simply remember the following three reasons why platinum is superior to white gold:
Platinum is Strong: In fact, it’s much stronger and denser than gold. Platinum is known for its ability to withstand daily wear without thinning. That’s why it’s the industry standard for a diamond’s setting. A Platinum crown ensures that a diamond or gemstone will be held most securely.
Platinum Wedding Band by Benchmark
Platinum’s strength and longevity also make it possible for jewelry to be passed down from generation to generation. Platinum is a popular choice for resetting heirloom jewelry in order to extend the life of a gemstone or turn an antique piece into something new entirely.
Platinum is Naturally White: As a reminder, white gold is actually yellow gold that was mixed with other metals and then plated with rhodium to appear more white—a white mask that will unveil a yellow tinge over time. Platinum, on the other hand, will maintain its naturally white color.
When diamonds are set in platinum, their fire and brilliance are much more evident against platinum’s “true white.” This is what makes platinum the ideal metal for setting diamonds in engagement rings, diamond bands, and other fine jewelry.
Platinum’s true white enhances the appearance of gemstones, too. From rubies to emeralds to sapphires, colored gemstones appear more vibrant when they are secured in platinum.
Platinum is Timeless: Well-loved and well-worn platinum jewelry will develop a satiny finish over time. This change in texture is known as “patina”. Platinum’s patina is celebrated by jewelry lovers and designers because it underscores the metal’s authenticity. All metals scratch, but when platinum is scratched metal moves aside. When gold is scratched tiny bits flake away.
Platinum Engagement Ring by A. Jaffe
For more platinum knowledge, visit www.platinumjewelry.com.
5 KEY LEARNINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN SPEAKING TO GIFTERS AND SELF-PURCHASERS
Platinum Guild International USA developed an easy-to-navigate infographic that will enable retailers and brands alike to better understand the mindset of ‘gifters’ versus that of self-purchasers. Based on a research study conducted by 360 Market Research on behalf of PGI USA in late 2020, the infographic delves into several key differences which the industry should be mindful of when developing consumer-facing messaging, whether for advertising programs, in-store promotions or social media campaigns.
The infographic focuses on five key areas:
- Who is buying?
- Gifters are a predominantly male audience, with 78% of male respondents having bought a gift for a significant other in the past two years, as opposed to only 28% of women. Generationally, Millennials are out-gifting all the rest, followed by Gen Xers.
- Women are treating themselves a bit more often than men, as 52% of those females surveyed identified as self-purchasers reported buying themselves a piece of fine jewelry in the past two years. Again, Millennials lead the pack of self-purchasers; nearly twice as many of those born in the ‘aughts’ made a purchase for themselves, than those in the next closest generation, Gen X.
- Who is receiving?
- When segmenting by generations, Millennials, Gen Xers, and Boomers are buying for their significant others by a considerable amount. Interestingly, however, when Gen Zers are in the mood to give a gift, it’s their mom who will most likely be the recipient.
- Why are they buying?
- ‘Just Because’ was the top reason for nearly half of the identified self-purchasers when asked why they were making a purchase. Classic jewelry-buying occasions, specifically, milestone birthdays and graduations were still deemed important to mark with the purchase of a piece of fine jewelry.
- Where are they finding inspiration?
- Surprisingly, in the day and age of everything digital, in-store visits proved nearly as inspirational as websites for both gifters and self-purchasers. Advertising and social media also played a part in the decision making, but perhaps not to the degree in which we often believe they do.
- Where are they shopping?
- For both gifters and self-purchasers, more than 90% of respondents confirmed they shop in-store and will continue to do so. The importance of being able to see, touch and try on fine jewelry will never diminish. That said, consumers have no fear to purchase jewelry online, making a company’s digital presence critically important to continue to maximize the opportunity to grow that channel.
This study showed that in the cases of both the gifters and self-purchasers, more than two-thirds plan to purchase platinum in the future, which signifies the opportunity for jewelers, retailers, designers and brands across the board to focus on platinum as a business segment.
The infographic is available for download at www.platinumlearning.com/helpful-hints.
4 ESSENTIAL JEWELRY TRENDS THAT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED WHEN UPDATING YOUR MERCHANDISING MIX
The key to keeping customers continuing to visit you, both in store and online, is to offer relatable and on trend options that peak their interests. Here are four essential trends that should be kept in mind when selecting new merchandise for your product offerings:
A growing trend becoming more readily available in the mainstream, it is mostly seen in earrings, as the contrast in shape and/or volume on either side of the face creates a visually arresting look. This is an interesting opportunity to change up merchandising, showcasing single earrings as an intentionally asymmetrical pair. On a broader level, as more brands begin to sell earrings as singles, consumers could replicate this trend on their own.
From Plumb Club Member: Mastoloni Pearls
LONG DROP EARRINGS
A classic style making even more of a statement than usual, as the drop becomes longer, and more voluminous. This bolder, larger take on the typical style signifies an overarching theme of this year’s trends: a departure from the delicate, dainty, and understated style that’s been vastly popular over the last few years. Consumers are now embracing bigger, bolder statement jewelry pieces.
From Plumb Club Member: Imperial
Perhaps a response to the dull year we just survived, color is back in a MAJOR way. From bright gemstones, such as turquoise and coral, to hand painted enamel, designers across the price point spectrum are incorporating color into their collections.
From Plumb Club Member: Color Merchants
A trend with some major staying power, statement rings continue to be highly popular across generations, from Gen Z to Boomers. Replacing the stacks of slim bands, hands are now being adorned with a single, large bauble — or even a combination of several oversized rings for the ultimate maximalist look. This is a gender-neutral trend, with rings being seen on the hands of men, women and everyone in between.
From Plumb Club Member: Samuel B
Platinum Guild Study Looks to Define ‘Modern Love’
Two themes identified should be considered when developing future consumer-facing campaigns
In a recent study orchestrated by 360 Market Reach on behalf of Platinum Guild International USA, researchers posed an open-ended question to a pool of 1,000 fine jewelry buyers: what is ‘modern love’? The responses they received were as varied as the participants, yet two themes were clearly prevalent: Modern love symbolizes inclusiveness and equality, along with the timeless nature of true love. These themes were resounding across genders, as well as generations.
Modern Platinum Wedding Bands
In the vein of inclusiveness, many respondents shared that ‘love is love’, and nearly half of participants felt it does not discriminate by sexual preference, nor gender roles, but is “an equal, shared partnership between two people”. When catagorized by age groups, 53% of both Gen Zers and unexpectedly Baby Boomers felt that modern love was ‘characterized as a relationship that does not follow traditional gender roles or expectations’.
Jill Moynihan Helsel, Director of Marketing for PGI USA, shared “our research shows that while there has been an evolution in perceptions and acceptances of the definition, love itself, is timeless. Much like the jewelry that is worn to represent it.” She continued, “Platinum jewelry fits seamlessly into these love stories, as the metal’s durability, wearability and timelessness mirrors the characteristics of the strongest of ever-lasting relationships.”
To support these findings and thus be relevant to their consumers, retailers should be mindful of inclusiveness and timelessness in their relationship jewelry messaging, in both advertising and social media campaigns, as well as during direct client interactions. Campaigns should feature a myriad of consumer types, including same sex and multi-racial couples. Social media can celebrate and highlight a range of life’s milestones, while sales associates can support this messaging during an in-store experience.
While the percentages for many of the questions were flat among the different sectors of respondents, there was one anomaly when looking at the data generationally: 47% of Baby Boomers felt that modern love does not require a couple to be married to show a lifelong commitment, as opposed to 37% of Gen Xers, Millenials and Gen Zers. Boomers may not be as old school in thinking as previously thought.
Platinum Guild International Relaunches PlatinumLearning.com
A recent survey conducted by McKinsey and Company found that responses to the pandemic have speeded the adoption of digital technologies by several years, noting many of these changes are here for good. With a goal of always wanting to be on the forefront as an industry resource of key information, Platinum Guild International USA has relaunched their trade-focused e-learning and resource website, www.PlatinumLearning.com.
The website was redesigned for enhanced organization, focusing specifically on UX and UI, allowing the page to grow with resources for PGI USA’s retail partners.
In browsing the new PlatinumLearning.com, vistors will easily navigate across four main elements of the site:
- Online Sales Training – This mobile-friendly section allows users to engage with various video modules at anytime, anywhere. The courses, which are less than four minutes each, are packed with practical and useful information that can be immediately implemented. Sales professionals will be able to translate platinum’s unique qualities into specific benefits that will resonate with their consumers, thus yielding an increase in sales.
- Some of the specific module topics covered are Platinum’s History + Heritage, The ‘I Do’ Moment, and The 5th C: The Platinum Crown.
- Technical Education – Powered by GIA Quality Assurance Benchmarks, the section assists with the design and manufacturing of jewelry that will last for generations. Specifically, the focus is on four key areas:
- Ring Sizing – Accurately determining finger and ring size, and sizing rings with and without diamonds in the shank using a torch or laser welder
- Finishing + Polishing – Techniques for prefinishing, finishing, polishing and buffing for quality results
- Assembly + Setting – Features of platinum settings, including a removal and installation of settings, assembly of platinum products to gold, and best practices for wear
- Tools + Metal Identification – Characteristics of platinum alloys, and best practices for working with platinum, including toold and avoiding contamination
- Downloadable Content – A treasure trove of educational information, ranging in topics from:
- Website Content, including the Engagement Ring Buying Guide, Jewelry Insurance 101, Platinum Education + History, Platinum Vs. White Gold, and Platinum Care Instructions
- Social Media Content, housing a vast assortment of visual assets
- Banner Images and other Website Graphics, featuring a range of product categories, from bridal to fashion jewelry, from various platinum designers
All of the content is free of charge to use, with appropriate platinum messaging, and will help expand the metal education pages on retailer and designer websites.
- Resources – A library of updated consumer research that bridges the gap between the jewelry trade and the jewelry consumer, including the elusive GenZers and Millenials. Also included is information on marketing and social media best practices that can be easily adapted by retailers to use on their own platforms.
“We pride ourselves on being an easily accessible, of-the-moment information resource for the entire jewelry industry,” explained PGI USA’s Marketing Director, Jill Moynihan Helsel. “This role has never been more important given the fast trajectory towards digital that the pandemic has caused. It is our goal to provide useful, timely, relevant information and tools to meet the needs of various sectors of our industry as they adapt to these new times.”