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.
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
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.”
For additional information on PlatinumLearning.com or assistance with content needs, please contact Mackenzie Keefe, PGI USA’s Marketing Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.