Platinum Guild awards Platties and unveils new campaign

With all the spectacle befitting Las Vegas, Platinum Guild International presented its Plattie awards and updated jewelry retailers on its plan for the coming years in a breakfast program titled “2001 A Platinum Odyssey.”

Winners of the Plattie, which recognizes excellence in design, marketing, and retailing of platinum products are as follows:

* Excellence in retailing among national chains, Sterling Inc.

* Excellence in retailing among mid-sized and regional chains, Bailey Banks & Biddle

* Excellence in retailing among independent retailers, Sonny’s at Fillmore, Denver

* Excellence in platinum design, Jeff Cooper Platinum

* Excellence in platinum marketing, Scott Kay Platinum

PGI president Laurie Hudson led the 45-minute ceremony, which included performances by the Platinum Dancers and the guild’s newest platinum product promotion, the Platinum Hearts Pendant Program. The breakfast program was held at the Mirage Convention Center as part of The JCK Show.

Hudson unveiled PGI’s “2001 Moments” campaign and the platinum heart pendant and platinum chain. Several celebrities have signed on or will sign on to design and promote the product, including Britney Spears, Hudson said. “Platinum hearts are going to be the next big thing,” she said. In a videotaped presentation, James Courage, CEO of the Worldwide Platinum Group, added that the new product will become available in September, “in time for the holiday season.”

The Platinum Dancers took the stage in routines choreographed to pop songs and laser lights, displaying the work of designers and manufacturers, ranging from elegant to hip hop designs.

Hudson described platinum sales over the past few years as consistent, with very little fluctuations, regardless of economic conditions. “Consumers will always demand the best,” she said. She also stated that the guild conducted focus groups and found that “platinum was the metal of choice.” She added that price wasn’t a concern, but that not being given the choice of platinum was a drawback. This is particularly true among women who purchase jewelry for themselves. “Platinum must be seen and touched by everyone who walks in your store,” Hudson said.

In keeping with the theme of the event, before the show, a screen on stage showed scenes from the movie “2001 A Space Odyssey.”