In June, Platinum Guild International (PGI) introduced an initiative in partnership with the Couture show in Las Vegas to work with eight of the show’s exhibiting brands, many of whom worked in mostly gold, to create designs in platinum.
Some participants set their existing iconic pieces in platinum, while others created brand-new designs (some did both). While the creators were able to use the gems of their choosing, a look at the project’s final offerings reveals only one preferred platinum stone: diamond.
While platinum is tremendously popular in engagement jewelry, it’s not as often seen or demanded in other categories, and the designers participating in the initiative have been incredibly impactful on current trends through their use of yellow gold. We caught up with six of the eight brands from the PGI/Couture initiative to get their take on working with platinum, many for the first time.
“Our design process didn’t change much when planning this piece to be created in platinum, however, we were very sure we wanted to create a new Clive piece for this project because of the density of the metal,” says Mollie Faith Good, cofounder of Walters Faith. “The platinum allowed us to create fine crisp lines and fluted edges, which are so important for Clive. The filling and finishing process was a dream, and, honestly, we feel the piece came out better than we expected.
“Platinum’s naturally pure bright white color inspired us to create a diamond-intensive piece because it complements the stones so nicely and enhances the pavé work,” says Good. The designer also notes the durability of platinum for pieces such as rings and bracelets, citing how the project reinforced that fact. As for plans to work in platinum in the future? “We now offer platinum as a part of our entire collection, and customers are welcome to order any Walters Faith piece in platinum,” says Good.
“I loved working with platinum and using a new material,” says designer Brent Neale Winston. “I approached designing in platinum the same way I do with other metals. I prefer certain metal colors with certain types of stones. so that played a part in the diamonds I chose for the pieces.” Winston selected one of her signature pieces, the Magic Mushroom, to set in platinum for the project, as well as a band because “we wanted a classic silhouette using a material that we haven’t used before,” she says.
“We’re such a yellow gold–heavy brand, it was refreshing to try our first Magna necklace in platinum. Platinum is generally harder to work with than gold on the bench and in polishing, especially for a piece like this with moving parts,” says Retrouvaí designer Kirsty Stone of the Magna collection diamond collar necklace made in platinum for the occasion. “I’ve been thinking about expanding this collection to necklaces and what that would look like. I love the way diamonds look in platinum, so this felt like the perfect opportunity to go for it.”
“Platinum poses a greater challenge to work with—it’s harder, denser, and subsequently more durable than gold. Precision is therefore absolutely key when designing,” says designer Suzanne Kalan. “The greatest benefit, however, is having the ability to work with much bigger stones. It is stronger and more durable, so quite often the preferred choice for weddings. Despite being more durable, platinum will get scratched easier than gold.”
When asked of any plans to continue working with platinum, Kalan replies, “Yes, there’s a strong possibility since I receive so many requests. Time is, of course, what’s holding me back. We do have an extensive collection of wedding bands and bespoke pieces, which I would love to expand over time to create unusual wedding sets. More than likely when I design a wedding set collection, I will focus on using platinum.”
“We admire the rarity of platinum, so we decided to focus on a design highlighting our signature linked silhouette utilizing this special material,” say Spinelli Kilcollin designers Yves Spinelli and Dwyer Kilcollin. “Platinum offers a fabulous weight and tactility to a piece, since it is heavier than gold. As a metal so much more rare than others like gold, platinum offers an undeniable distinctiveness to each piece. We would love to create more designs for everyday wear that incorporate the cool tonal strength of platinum.”
“This is my first time working in platinum,” says Harwell Godfrey designer Lauren Harwell Godfrey, whose creation is pictured at top. “Platinum has a completely different look and feel from 18k yellow gold, which is what I normally work in. I tend to work with a lot of colorful gemstones, but with platinum I thought it was a great opportunity to highlight a diamond as the center stone. With platinum being so cool, any warmth in the diamond would really show up, so we had to source one that didn’t have a lot of color.” As for working with more platinum in the future, those seeking engagement rings with the Harwell Godfrey touch are in luck: ” I am interested in creating more engagement rings and bridal settings, so I anticipate a lot more platinum in my future.”
Top: Chunky Stardust ring in platinum with 2.03 ct. antique cushion brilliant- cut diamond, 1.07 cts. t.w. round diamonds, and 1.01 cts. t.w. baguette diamonds, price on request; Harwell GodfreyFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine