Platinum: Floral Mountings; PGI at India International Jewellery Week



Trend-Spotting: ­Floral Mountings

When summer’s blooms start to fade, the beauty of your favorite flowers can live on in platinum floral-motif bridal mountings. They last a lot longer than the fresh-cut variety—and no watering necessary!

Platinum Flora mounting with 0.65 ct. t.w. bezel-set diamond accents; $4,200; Mark Schneider Design, Long Beach, Calif.; 800-452-5804; markschneiderdesign.com

A platinum mounting from the Dahlia collection with 0.56 ct. t.w. diamonds; $4,785; Kirk Kara, Los Angeles; 800-874-0181; kirkkara.com

PGI Hits IIJW

Seeing World Gold Council officials at a jewelry show in India doesn’t raise eyebrows, but imagine attendees’ surprise seeing the Platinum Guild International’s chief executive officer, James Courage, in the front row at the country’s first-ever jewelry week—the India International Jewelry Week—in August.

While in Mumbai, James Courage (center) also dropped by a WJA event.

Courage was in Mumbai to watch a steady stream of Indian models burn up the catwalk in high-fashion, high-priced, and mainly high-karat gold Indian jewelry for inspiration—and opportunity. His presence, plus his group’s sponsorship, suggests that PGI aims to make the white metal a bigger draw for Indian designers.

“We’ve been involved with development of the platinum market here in India for the past 10 years,” he says. Part of PGI’s plan in the country that purchases more gold than any other nation is to encourage high design and increase visibility for platinum ­jewelry. The potential for platinum in India is “very exciting,” says Courage.

India’s platinum consumption is poised for growth for many reasons, namely India’s expanding GDP—8.6 percent growth to date in 2010, according to economists—and ­jewelry’s place at the heart of the culture. Unlike in the U.S., however, Indian consumers don’t think of platinum when they’re about to marry (many marriages in India are arranged), but after the wedding—“a month or a year or two years later, when they fall in love. That day is their platinum day of love,” says Courage.

“We are taking an understanding of the culture and adding platinum into it…in a way that is very familiar,” he says. “This market is so big—we’re talking 700 tons of gold used annually—that if platinum gets 1 to 2 percent of that…that’s what we are looking for. We are not looking to compete with anyone, we are looking to offer choice.”

PGI is also strengthening educational initiatives to build the platinum male and female self-purchaser markets. One example: diamond stud earrings—a staple among U.S. consumers—but less common in India.

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