‘Breakthrough’ process produces less expensive, larger platinum jewelry

The EganaGoldpfeil Group, the international watch, jewelry and accessories manufacturer and marketer, says it has developed a new way to make platinum jewelry that costs retailers 20% to 40% less and also can be made larger than previously possible.

“This is definitely a breakthrough, a true innovation,” says Huw Daniel, president of the Platinum Guild International USA, who has seen samples of the jewelry.

The new jewelry is scheduled to be launched in the U.S. market in time for the Christmas season, according to Hans-Jörg Seeberger, chairman and chief executive officer of EganaGoldpfeil. Seeberger announced the details recently in an exclusive interview with JCK.

The new process was developed over three years by two EganaGoldpfeil jewelry subsidiaries, Abel & Zimmerman GmbH and Guthmann & Wittenauer GmbH, at facilities in Pforzheim, Germany’s long-time jewelry-making center.

“This jewelry is made of the highest purity of platinum, not alloyed,” said Seeberger. It isn’t cast but made through stamping, tooling and soldering. The pieces are joined together to create jewelry that is hollow, lightweight, and seamless, with a fine finish and no sign at all of joining.

The new process also allows production of larger fashion pieces of platinum jewelry for more affordable prices. That wasn’t possible previously, due to the weight of platinum (60% greater density than 14K gold) and cost.

The platinum jewelry produced in the new process can be set with diamonds and other gemstones. The collection will retail for $1,000 to $20,000, says Seeberger. EganaGoldpfeil has already presented details of the process and samples of the jewelry to officials of the Platinum Guild International (PGI)—marketing arm for the worldwide platinum industry—in the United States and Japan. Seeberger also said plans for a major marketing and advertising campaign this fall are “at the final stage.”

PGI officials acknowledge they’ve been talking with EganaGoldpfeil, but declined to give details. One said privately, however, that, “technologically, it [the new process] is a step forward.”

Distribution of the jewelry, handled by EganaGoldpfeil USA, based outside Dallas, will be selective and grow gradually, said Seeberger. The marketing strategy is still being worked out, but it will be sold under the Abel & Zimmerman brand name, probably through high-end jewelers, and most likely to begin with those who already sell Abel & Zimmerman jewelry in the United States.