Rising Gold Price Both Good and Bad, Conference Says

The rising price of gold provides both opportunities and challenges for the jewelry industry, speakers said April 13 at a conference on “Gold: Vision, Value, and Value.”

Rebecca Koven, a jewelry designer, said that the increased cost of gold has made it tougher to design affordable jewelry. “My clients’ main concern is the price point,” she said.

But Gregory Kwiat, CEO of Fred Leighton, also noted that as a result of the rising price, “Gold jewelry has more of an intrinsic value than ever before.”

And jewelers mentioned that unlike silver, which is susceptible to tarnish, gold jewelry offers long-lasting wear. “When I design a piece, I ask myself if it’s something a woman can pass down to her daughter 20 years from now,” Monica Rich Kosann, creative director and founder of Monica Rich Kosann, said.

The price concern has prompted some jewelers to mix metals and use smaller karat values. However, customers today want to know that they are getting what they pay for. “People want to know what they’re buying,” said David Lamb, managing director of jewelry for the World Gold Council. “There is a difference between the look of gold and the feel of it.”

In spite of the increase in price, jewelers believe that there is still a healthy market for the metal. “I don’t think gold is going anywhere,” retailer and designer Monica Rich Kosann said. “It is the ultimate token of love.”

Lisa Koenigsberg, president and founder of the Initiatives in Art and Culture, directed and ran the conference.

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