The fact that Zina Sherman started her business more than 30 years ago making gold—not silver—jewelry may be a surprise to many. Andrew Goldstein, her son and now vice president at Zina Sterling Silver, maintains that she moved into the silver category only because “back in the day, gold cost a lot more, Zina wanted to make bigger pieces, and she wanted to differentiate herself from my grandfather, who was a gold and diamond manufacturer in Florida,” he says. But three decades later, stiff competition in the silver category combined with client requests for gold basics encouraged Sherman to return to her golden roots. “Our clients were telling us they just couldn’t find solid contemporary gold basics that weren’t lightweight or blinged out of control,” says Goldstein.
So at JCK Las Vegas 2014, the firm debuted a collection of 65 SKUs in 14k gold. The looks thus far are best sellers from the silver line made in gold, with suggested retail prices starting at $460. “We figured if these styles retailed exceptionally well in silver, why wouldn’t they do as well in gold?” observes Goldstein.
To date, about 15 retailers have bought into the gold line. The response from most has been great. “We try to be competitive on price, so we’re not suggesting our standard markup for silver,” notes Goldstein, who admits he’s more put off by the higher price tags than customers. And while he offers merchants a lighter-weight, hollow product, all decline.
“Customers say they want that weighty feel,” he reveals. “They want pieces to feel substantial, which surprises me because I thought they would want us to make it as inexpensive as you can, but that’s not been the case at all.”
Curved Segments bracelet in 14k gold, $1,100
Wired Wrap ring in 14k gold, $1,325
Pendant necklace in 14k gold with a 3.1 ct. London blue topaz, $4,200
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