Everything Is Golden in the Land of OZ

When American jewelers are looking for innovative gold jewelry designs, they usually head to Italy or to the designer pavilions at a domestic jewelry show or to a high-end craft show. They rarely head to Australia.

That may soon change, however, as artisans from Down Under are stepping out and taking their places among the world’s top jewelry design talent.

Gold is indigenous to Australia, and gold mining is important to the country’s economic productivity. More than 80% of the gold mined in Australia is used for jewelry, 10%-12% is used for industrial purposes, and the remainder is used for coins and investment.

The Australian Gold Council is working to help the country’s gold industry create links to the end users of the product. One of its initiatives is the launch of OzGold, an international exhibition of Australia’s top jewelry design talent. The exhibit, which features jewelry by 20 designers, opened Feb. 20 at Quadrivium Gallery in Sydney. From there, it’s traveling across Australia to Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth, before moving on to Hong Kong, New York, and Vicenza, Italy, where pieces from OzGold will be included in the internationally renowned Gold Virtuosi exhibition, sponsored by the World Gold Council, Vicenza Trade Fair Board, and AngloGold. Additionally, the Australian Gold Council is helping to build domestic demand for gold jewelry by engaging the patronage of Australian vocalist Tina Arena. (Americans who watched the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney may remember Arena’s performance of “The Flame” at the opening ceremonies.)