Platinum: Halo Settings, Platinum-Buying Brides in Orlando



Buried Treasure

A simple necklace repair turned into a platinum discovery of a lifetime for a customer at Missionhill Jewelry in ­Mission, Kan. A staff member at Christopher Ragan’s store was taking in a jewelry repair when an elderly woman produced a plastic sandwich bag of mainly costume jewelry rings she had purchased at a garage sale for a quarter apiece. A quick inspection of the baubles produced what the staffer assumed was a sterling silver ring set with CZs—until he noticed some markings on the inside of the shank. Ragan gave the ring the once-over: The CZs turned out to be diamonds. The three 0.50 ct. diamonds were eye-clean, and VS to VS1 under a 10x loupe. But what really caught Ragan’s eye was “900Plat” in the shank markings. After some quick Googling, the jeweler discovered it was a manufacturer’s product code for high-end platinum. “I looked in the Stuller platinum book to find a comparable ring, and it seems this woman spent a quarter on a ring that would cost nearly $10,000 new,” says Ragan. The store owner plans on doing a free formal appraisal of the platinum and diamond ring as a way to promote ­Missionhill’s appraisal services. —Paul Holewa

The Halo Effect

In-style brides know one of the hottest looks in engagement rings is the halo setting, a sleek style where a center stone of any size is encircled by a “halo” of diamond melee. Thanks to an entry-level-price initiative from the Platinum Guild International—whereby jewelry designers have been encouraged to unveil new mountings that retail for less than $5,000—trendy brides now have access to a wider array of chic yet affordable platinum styles. For more information, visit preciousplatinum.com. —Jennifer Heebner

Brides Say ‘I Do’ to Platinum

At Swalstead Jewelers in Orlando, bridal jewelry—which makes up roughly 65 to 70 percent of the store’s overall inventory—is available only in ­platinum. Although store owner Elliott Leavitt does offer soon-to-be-marrieds the option to go for the gold, roughly 95 to 97 percent of his bridal customers opt for platinum. “Gold is around $1,200 per ounce and platinum is just over $1,500,” says Leavitt. “Most customers are willing to pay a little more for the platinum.” For Leavitt and his staff, average platinum ticket sales these days are ranging from $3,000 to $10,000. —Paul Holewa

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